Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Get a Core to Adore

DO at least one of these moves in the next 5 days then let me know what you think - either comment on this blog (below) or on Core Integrity With Cat on Facebook.
Your core is exactly that - the centre of your body that dictates your strength, posture and stability. Working on your core means targetting your abdominals, back, glutes and hips to ensure that you are strong and balanced front/back and left/right.
The BEST moves you can do to ensure balance are single limb movements but since these require a strong core to ensure control and correct movement, start by adding some of these moves to your next workout. Remember, don't think that doing a whole lot of abs and neglecting the back and glutes is going to do you ANY favours. A sixpack that is hidden by your hunchback posture and saggy butt is not going to impress anyone - especially you.
Plank to row
Plank/Row:
  • Try to set up next to a mirror to ensure that you are keeping a straight line from the top of your head to the heels (ie. a plank) OR ask a trainer to ensure you maintain alignment
  • In each hand, hold a dumbbell (if you feel too unstable, hold the dumbbell in the arm you raise and rest your supporting hand flat on the ground
  • Brace your abdominals, drawing your pelvic floor upward slightly THEN lift the weight by raising the elbow until you reach hip height. Squeeze gently into the rear of that shoulder and slowly release the weight toward the floor. Repeat 10 times on one side then alternate arms.

Hip extension:
  • Rest your body over the fitball, with hipbones just on the edge of the ball and chest supported
  • Raise alternating arm and leg in line with your spine
  • Alternatively, keep both hands on the floor for support and squeeze your glutes to raise both legs
  • The target is the gluteal muscles and lower back
Hamstring Curl
Hamstring curl:
  • Rest both shoulders evenly on the ground and tuck chin SLIGHTLY to lengthen back of the neck and enable easier breathing and better alignment of the spine
  • Position both heels hip-distance apart on the top, centre of the fit ball (it might take a bit of maneouevring to find the right position
  • Brace the abs, squeeze the glutes and draw the ball towards your body by bending the knees and contracting through the hamstrings (muscles down the back of your legs)
  • When you have raised your hips in line with your collarbone and squeezed your glutes to hold for a moment, gradually release the ball back out until you are at the starting position. Repeat 5 - 10 times then rest. This is a great addition to the hip extension exercise above.
Reverse curl on bench:
  • I love this one! Lie on the bench with head supported and take your elbows overhead to grip the end of the bench behind your head - keep biceps close to your ears instead of flaring elbows out wide
  • Brace your abs, draw your pelvic floor up gently, tuck your knees towards your chest and roll your bum off the bench while keeping your heels close to your bum (seriously, no kicking and using momentum - we don't cheat here!)
Questions? Comment below.

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