Essentially, any exercise that uses the anterior and/or posterior muscles to stabilize the spine—and is performed in a coordinated fashion—works the core. It’s important to include some kind of core moves in all classes, particularly those in which core training might not be emphasized. Try the following exercises in one of your next classes; the moves are appropriate in a range of settings and will be effective with various pieces of equipment. The best part: You can modify these movements to create more or less challenge with a simple body-position adjustment or equipment change. This vests attendees with options to help them flourish.
Note: Choose sets and reps based on the time allotted and preference. Switch sides on unilateral exercises.
Double-Tap Twist Crunch
- Lie supine, hips, and knees flexed, one foot on the floor, other foot placed across opposite thigh (figure-four position).
- Place fingertips lightly behind the head, elbows pointing toward corners of the room.
- Flex the spine, then rotate the inside elbow to touch the inside, then outside, of the supported knee.
- Rotate back to the center, and lower to the floor.
- Progression: Lift foot off the floor.
Side Plank With Rotation
- From the side-lying position, place flexed elbow directly beneath the shoulder, with the forearm and wrist extended, the hand making a fist.
- Maintain alignment from ear to hip and knee joint.
- Place the top leg in front of the body, the toe of the back foot touching the heel of the front foot. This kinetic connection aligns the body and helps control rotation.
- Place fingertips of the top arm just behind the ear, elbow pointing toward the ceiling.
- Lift hips into side plank; rotate top elbow down toward the floor, touching fist.
- Slowly raise your elbow back toward the ceiling.
- Progression: Stack feet on top of each other. Regression: “Kickstand” back knee to increase the base of support.
Kneeling Roll-Out, Three Ways- AbDolly®
- Place forearms directly onto AbDolly, knees, and hips flexed underbody, feet relaxed.
- Press body forward, rolling AbDolly in front of the body, lengthening spine and arms.
- Return to start.
- Progression: Return without flexing hips. Regression: Shorten range of motion and maintain flexion in elbow and hip joints.
For photos of the exercises, plus two other ways to do the Kneeling Roll-Out (using Gliding™ discs and the TRX® Suspension Trainer™), please see “Options for Everyone” in the online IDEA Library or in the June 2017 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. IDEA Fit Tips, Volume 15, Issue 7
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