Fit woman of the day 15/01
Fit man of the day 19/06
Why core strength is important:
Developed core muscles help you react faster and stronger, and let your body distribute stress evenly and absorb shock effectively. Athletes who give these muscles proper attention will reap enhanced balance, body awareness, coordination, and flexibility.
The most effective exercises for developing power, such as deadlifts and squats, require a strong core to stabilize and protect the lower back. Conditioning the deep core muscles gives you the foundation needed to lift more weight with less risk of injury.
The more centered your spine is in relation to the rest of your body, the more erect you’ll sit and stand. Strong lower-back and abdominal muscles help you run with proper technique, sustain a long commute, even sit at a desk all day. Clothes fit better, and you appear taller, slimmer, and more confident.
Long-Term Weight Loss!
Developing your core helps you perform daily tasks with less effort and fatigue. This means you’ll have more energy to burn in the gym or on the field, and less time on the sidelines from early exhaustion or injury.
Fresh and effective Muay Thai style core workout from Men’s Fitness
Hello tomorrow’s WOD.
It’s Massage Therapy Thursday (I swear I wrote it yesterday. Swear!)
Cure Backache with Abdominal Strength
There are so many factors influencing the pervasive problem of lower back pain. This is because there are so many ways that the spine gets pushed and pulled out of it’s neutral position to put pressure on the joints, discs and pain producing nerves passing through and out of the spinal tract.
One of the most common factors in lower back pain are weak abdominal muscles and weak back muscles (the core) incapable of holding the spine in a neutral “pelvic tilt position” that stacks the vertebrae on top of the pelvis in a stronger, straighter line. The more curved the spine is, the more loaded the joints of the spine and the more vulnerable it is to injury.
It’s easy to tell clients that their pain is a result of bad posture, but without the conditioning of the core muscles, this posture will result naturally from active daily living. So, first things first. We need to learn the “pelvic tilt position”. Like dancers and models who train themselves to hold their body in position, you will have to first learn what that position is, put yourself in that position, and feel the areas that need strengthening to maintain it. Developing the abdominal muscles almost always presents as the first order of business for people learning to maintain this position.
Here’s how to learn the “pelvic tilt position” while standing.
1. Stand with your back and buttocks against the wall
2. Place your hands between the hollow of your back and the wall
3. Place one foot on a chair seat in front of you
4. TAKE NOTE: Your pelvis is tilted up and your back is straighter and closer to the wall than it was when both your feet were on the ground. YOU ARE NOW IN THE PELVIC TILT POSITION
5. Tighten your stomach muscles to keep your back in this position
6. Hold this balanced pelvic position as you lower your leg to the floor
7. Try walking around the room holding this position.
You may feel your abdominal muscles tire and your pelvis want to tilt forward and down again into a pain producing, less stable curvature. This isn’t an overnight solution. However, this exercise will show you exactly where you need to direct your attention. Learn to walk around holding your pelvis up and back (and while you’re at it, shoulders back and down remember!). Planks, bicycle kicks, mountain climbers, crunches, roman chair knee raises, etc. are all amazing exercises to build your core. There is no shortage of core exercise plans and quick workout ideas all over the internet. Get started and reverse the gradual curving of your back into painful positions that will be later harder to correct!
Not to mention, a strong core is the beginning of strength everywhere else. As a bodybuilding friend once said to me - you can’t fire a cannon from a rowboat! Build a battleship. Build a core that’s ready to bend, twist, and hold your body strong.
See you next Thursday for more self-care tips on Massage Therapy Thursday with handmade health. :)
Photo source - Goodbye Backache, Dr. David Imrie
AB RIPPER X: 25 reps each
- In & Outs
- Bicycle (2 sets, one forward, one backward)
- Seated Crunchy Frog
- Cross Leg/Wide Leg Sit-up (Not shown)
- Fifer Scissor
- Hip Rock’N Raise
- Pulse Up
- Rollup/V-Up Combo
- Oblique V-up
- Leg Climb
- Mason Twist (50 reps, not shown)
Stretch before and after.
Handy little abs workout resource
Core Exercises to Make You Cry
- Regular Holding Plank - on forearms, back flat enough you could put a cup of water on your back without spilling. I was fine until he put the water on my back.
- Planks tap out front - same as a plank, but with a bottle of water just far enough in front of you to reach. Similar to this picture, but touching the bottle of water in front rather than touching the cones to the side. One hand at a time, tap the bottle WITHOUT shifting your hips. You want your back to remain motionless. This really hurt my legs more than anything else. I think it may have been because I had just done 20 reps of 300 lbs Leg presses… Dummy me. I sucked this one up.
- Planks Wax on, Wax off - Same as Planks, but push one hand out front, then sweep it all the way around to your hip and back into plank place, like you are making a butterfly wing… or doing Mr. Miagi wax on wax off (ahhh, that’s where the name comes from). In the picture, we’re only paying attention to the arms… I couldn’t find a pic of this.
- Stability Ball plank - Do a plank, but with your forearms on a stability ball instead of the floor
- Side plank - Turns out, supposed to do these on the forearm, not full up on the palm, like I’ve been doing them. Thanks, yoga, for the misinformation! Basically, get on your side, stack your feet, lean up on your forearm, and raise your hips so you are in a line. No curving up or down.
- Side Plank Crunch - Do a side plank (on forearm), bend your upper arm’s elbow and raise it up, put your fingers behind your ear, and twist to bring your elbow down to the mat.
- Plank step out - In plank, move your right arm out a few inches or a foot or so, then your right foot out a few inches or a foot, then back in. Then do the same with your left side. Do that x amount of times. Then lead out with your left the same amount of times. Harder than I thought, makes me cry a lil.
- Cable High Chop -Using the handles, stand far enough away that you can hold the handle in the arm closest to the machine and just lift the weights, bring the other hand over to grasp the handle, and twist with your torso to bring the hands both down by your knee. Twist or else you are using your arms, not core. I like this move.
- Cable low chop - lower the bracket to be at the bottom, not top, do the exact same thing, but start at the bottom and pull/twist to the top. I like this move.
- Rope/cable overhead hold - take the handle off and put the rope on, have it mid-thigh level. Standing far enough away so that you are holding the rope in front of your pelvis and the weights are just engaged (just lifted off of the other weights), pull the rope over your head without twisting and hold for as long as you can. Slowly lower and do on the other side. The pic doesn’t really do it justice, but since it was a Ryan invented move, there isn’t a photo of it on Bing that I could find. I for sure feel this. I can do it no prob, but I REALLY feel this!
- Medicine Ball Russian Twists - Sit in a “I just did a sit up” type position with a medicine ball in your hands over your stomach and your feet either toes barely on the ground or feet just lifted. Twist side to side touching the ball on the ground next to you. I can do this, not well, but I can do this.
- Dumb Bell Half Twist Get Up - Lay down as to do a sit up. Put the dumb bell in one hand, raise that arm in the air. Put the other arm out at a right angle to your side (straight out). Do a sit up with the dumb bell arm always up, and twist towards the stretched out arm. (Similar to this picture, but she isn’t twisting. The difference would be that she would have her left arm raised, as we see here, her right arm out to the side, and be twisting to the right and down). I didn’t even think I could DO a situp, let alone without someone holding my feet. Turns out I can.
- Reverse Crunch - Lay down like you are going to do a crunch, but put your feet in the air. You are working to bring your knees to your nose. I cry.
- 6 Inch Holds - Lay flat on your back and keep your legs straight out in front of you. Lift them 6 inches off the ground and hold them there until you can’t. The end. I can manage.
- Cross Kick crunches - Lay flat on your back, raise up in a crunch and touch your right hand to your left foot. I suckish.
- Stability Ball Transfers - Lay flat on your back. Hold a stability ball between your hands. Lift your hands straight up and your feet straight up. Put the ball between your feet and lay back down flat. The ball will now be on the ground between your feet. Raise back up and put the ball between your hands. Transfer back and forth. I suckish.
- Stability Ball Cobra - Put your feet against the wall for support, lay belly down on the ball with the ball about at your pelvis bone (you want to feel like you are about to roll off the ball forward). Place your hands behind your head and do reverse sit ups.