Your core is designed for more than just vanity of the six pack. The “abs” consist of the transverse abdominis (layer of fascia under abs), rectus abdominis (top layer of abs) and obliques(side abs). The structure and function of abs is to create or resist movement in all planes of motion to support a healthy body.
Stronger core function can help with-
-Improve power and strength
So I’ve designed a core workout guide with the best core foundational exercises for a quick and easy workout. Days 1,2 and 3 repeat but with more reps/sets during the second and third week. If you have any pain during these then STOP! This means you’re aggravating something or pushed your core to its limit at that time.
The move: Lay on your back with arms and legs straight over shoulders and heels over hips. Lower your right arms and left leg straight to ground then back to start and alternate.
Spice it up- Use dumbbells, ankle weights or both to advance the movement
McGill curl up
The move: The McGill curlup differs from a crunch in that there should be no movement from the lumbar spine to protect the discs and promote proper posture. Begin by lying flat on your back with only one knee bent. Place your hands under the small of your back to monitor movement, ensuring your back does not touch the floor. Brace the core muscles and lift your head and tops of your shoulders, keeping the spine in neutral. For an added challenge, lift your elbows off of the floor.
The move: Line your elbow up with your shoulder and your shoulder with your hip and heel. With a very tight and braced core, push the ground away from you, staying active in the shoulder joint. Feet can be stacked or the top foot in front of the bottom, pressing the blades of the feet into the floor.
Option: To reduce the intensity, perform this exercise as a side bridge from the knees instead of the feet.
The move: The bird dog is a co-contraction of one leg and the opposite arm in the quadruped position. Begin by posturing the spine in neutral, with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and the knees directly underneath your hips. Find a neutral spine and gently brace your core. Sweep the floor with your hand and knee after each 10-second hold.
The move:Get into plank position then while keeping core engaged rock back and forth to increase dynamic core engagement.
The move: Lay on your back with your hands to your side. Put your legs in tabletop position then bring your knees towards your face, crunching the lower abdomen.
Spice it up: Put a 5-10 lb dumbbell in between your feet.
Straight Leg Bicycle Crunch
The move: Begin by lying on your back with your head gently resting in your hands and feet about 4 inches off of the floor to create a strong abdominal brace. Lift your shoulders slightly off the floor and rotate your right shoulder toward your left knee. Without lowering back down to the ground, repeat on the other side.
Option: To reduce the intensity, place your feet flat on the floor and march your alternating knee toward the rotating shoulder.
Single arm farmer walk
The move: Grab a heavy dumbbell (or any weighted object) in one hand. While bracing the core and resisting side or forward bending, walk slow and controlled during the entire 30-second set. Repeat on the other side.
Plank shoulder tap
The move: Get into plank position, feet shoulder width apart. Stabilize the spine and try not to rotate your hips and just tap your shoulders