Beginner: Build Core Strength

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Teaching numerous core strength classes each week, I see people with varying fitness abilities. Over the years I’ve noticed that gender doesn’t matter when it comes to core strength. Not many people have sufficient strength in the abdominals, low back, and buttocks to protect from injury.

Americans spend hours of time sitting in a chair without noticing the physical damage being done to the body. Over time, muscle fibers break-down.

To reverse the effects of sitting, stretching is essential. I also highly recommend incorporating at least 1-2 core strength movements into your routine at least twice per week to get your body moving in the right direction.

Selecting the right exercises to build core strength is important. Focusing on movements that can be modified is essential for beginners. Two exercises to try are the “plank” and “hip bridge.”

plank challengeglute-bridge-march-bodyweight-menshealth.co.uk

 

Note: If you’re new to exercise, it’s always a good idea to check-in with a fitness instructor or personal trainer to ensure proper form and technique.

Cheers to a FIT and healthy lifestyle!

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Plank Challenge

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Various media sources are hyping the plank exercise and challenging people to practice it for longer periods of time each day.

It’s absolutely true that the plank is a great exercise to strengthen the abdominal and low back muscles. In order to reap the benefits, the exercise must be done correctly.

If you’re new to it, I recommend getting in front of a mirror. The plank can be completed on either the forearms or hands. Either way, the purpose is to engage the abdominal muscles.

Note in the images below:

  1. Toes on the floor
  2. Head in-line with the spine = looking slightly forward and down
  3. Butt is slightly raised (NOT sinking into the hips)
  4. Belly is button pulled into the spine
  5. Smile, and keep breathing!

When the plank is done correctly, you should feel a slight tremble in the abdominal and low back muscles. This should create muscle fatigue, but NOT PAIN.

Here’s an image to get you started on “the plank:”