The core refers to your abdominal and back muscles, which work to support the spine and keep your body balanced. Strengthening your core promotes good posture, prevents injury and back pain.

With that said, let’s grab a water bottle and mat and get started!

[If you have any health concerns, please consult your doctor or physician before performing any exercise posted on this blog. Lil’ Fit Birdie is concerned for your health, but is not responsible for any injuries. Happy workout!]

Stretches

Music: Long Way Home by Steven Curtis Chapman

 

1.     Neck Flexion/Side Bend

  • Gently pull your head down so you chin touches your chest.
  • Pull your head toward one side gently.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.

 

2.     Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

  • Weave your fingers together and lift your arms above your head, palms turned upward. Make a circular pattern, moving as slowly as possible. Make 3 circles in each direction.

 

3.     Hip Stretch

  • While seated, extend your left foot and cross your bent right knee over to your left, with the foot flat on the floor. Wrap your left arm around the bent knee.
  • Keeping your back straight, turn your torso toward the right.
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times on each side.

 

4.     Spine Stretch

  • With your back flat on your mat, bring your right leg toward your left, placing the knee down as far as you can.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.

 

Water Break before we get real.

 

Core Stability

Music: When I Come Around by Green Day

 

1.     Spine Twist

[Back flexibility]

 

  • Sit tall with your legs extended. Lift your arms up to create a parallel line with the floor. Twist slowly from your waist to the left and right. Work on maintaining the perfect line with your arms.
  • Repeat 10 times in each direction.

 

2.     Scissors

[Abdominals]

  • Lie on your back.
  • Extend your right leg and raise your left leg towards you; feet flexed.
  • Hold your left calf with your hands, pulsing twice while keeping your shoulders down.
  • Switch legs. Stabilize your pelvis and spine.
  • Do 3 sets of 10.

 

3.     Swimming

[Spinal extensors, hip extensors]

 

  • Flip over to your stomach with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Extend your arms straight in front of you.
  • Engaging your pelvic muscles, draw your navel (belly button) into your spine.
  • Extend through your upper back and lift your left arm and right leg simultaneously. Lift your head and shoulders off your mat.
  • Lower your arm and leg and switch.
  • Do 3 sets of 10.

 

4.     Prone Heel Beats

[Core stabilizers]

  • Remaining on your stomach, bring your arms to your sides, keeping them lifted; palms up.
  • Push your shoulders down; turn your leg out from the top of your hips and pull your inner thighs together.
  • Pull your navel off the mat and toward your spine. Extend your legs and lift them off the mat, keeping your thigh muscles tight.
  • Tap your heels for 3 sets of 10.

 

Core Strength

Music: Let it Roll by Group 1 Crew

 

1. Crossover Crunch

[Torso stability, abdominals]

  • Lie on your back and bring your hands behind your head.
  • Lift your legs to create a 90°.
  • Roll up your torso and reach your right elbow to your left knee, extending the right leg.
  • Switch, reaching your left elbow to your right knee, extending your left leg.
  • Do 3 sets of 10.

 

2. Lemon Squeezer

[Abdominals]

  • Lay down on your mat. Lift your upper body, coming up to a sit-up position, while bringing your knees towards your chest. Extend your arms forward.
  • Slowly open up, returning to your starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 10.

 

3.     Russian Twist

[Abdominals, hip flexors, quadriceps]

  • Sit with bent knees; feet flat on your mat.
  • Lift up using your torso, stretching your arms parallel to the mat.
  • Rotate your upper body slowly to the right and left.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side.
  • (For an extra challenge, try to do this while lifting your feet off the mat.)

 

4.     Side-Lift Bend

[Obliques, abdominals]

  • Lie on your left side with your head rested on your left arm, and lay the right hand flat on your thighs.
  • Tightening your abs, list both legs off the floor while performing a side-ways crunch.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side.

 

Water break!

 

Stretches

Repeat the stretches in reverse order.

 

Congratulations! You’ve made it through 3 days of core training! Rest up for another intense day tomorrow!

 

 


Some of these photos are courtesy of Core Training Anatomy by Dr. Abigail Ellsworth, published by Thunder Bay Press and used with permission.

 

 

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