Are you a runner who often hits the pavement without do much as doing a quick side stretch? If this is you, listen up! While running is great cardiovascular exercise, it's not so great for our joints. The repetitive single-plane motion of running can cause a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on our joints, ligaments, and already weak and tight hip flexor muscles.
While crunches have their place in a workout routine, I've found that the best core exercises typically don't involve them. The following (printable!) workout is designed to engage your whole core, that means your abs, back, and glutes, without a single crunch. Don't be fooled - this workout is still challenging. Give it a try, and then let me know how you liked it!
Ever feel like there is a giant roadblock in the way of your creativity? I'm not necessarily talking about "traditional" creativity (like painting or sculpting). Maybe it's simply writing a difficult email, or completing a project at work. We can all get a little stuck sometimes, which is why I created today's workout.
The workout focuses on activating the second chakra, located right above the pubic bone. This is where your creativity is stored. Now, if you're not "into that stuff" no worries. This is also where your core muscles live, muscles that typically go to sleep throughout the day as we sit, slump, and slouch at a desk, driving in the car, or lounging on the couch. No matter what school of thought you believe, there is some stagnant energy floating around in that region, and this workout is exactly what you need to flush it out and tone up the core muscles in the process. Give it a try!
As always, leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it.
If you've ever come to one of my workout classes, you just know I looove my plank exercises. A great, all-around core strengthening exercise, there really is nothing better. This is a quick and simple workout you can do daily, and it only takes about 10 minutes. It gets the whole body moving, and doesn't involve one. single. crunch.
See below the image for detailed instructions!
1. 60-Second Plank: Set yourself up in this plank position to start. The key is to make sure your shoulders are over your elbows, and your weight is shifted to the balls of your feet. Picture making a straight line from the top of your head to your heels, lengthening through your entire body. As you do this. slide the shoulder blades away from the ears, drawing the thighs up and towards each other and pulling the abdominal muscles up and in towards your spine. Think about engaging the abs even more every time you exhale. Hold for 60-seconds, coming down to the knees (see modification 1a) if you really need a break. Rest in child's pose for 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.
1, 2, 3, 4. Plank-Ups: Starting in position #1, place your right hand on the ground then, push yourself up with your left hand, coming into a high-plank (position #4). Pressing the ground away from you find a straight plank, but this time on your hands. To come back down lower onto your right forearm, then your left forearm. This is one count (right hand, left hand, right forearm, left forearm) . Repeat 5 rounds leading with the right hand, and 5 rounds leading with the left (10 rounds total. Rest in child's pose for 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.
5. 60-Second Side Plank: Rotate from your forearm plank, into a side plank. Keep the elbow directly under the shoulder, pressing the forearm down into the ground, and lifting the hips up towards to ceiling. It's very important to keep the hips and shoulders directly stacked over one another, to target the bottom oblique. Continue to create length between the top of the head and the heels and draw the belly button in towards the spine. If you're new to side planking, try modification 5a. Hold for 60 seconds, then rotate to the other side to repeat.
6. V-Up Hold: Flipping onto your bum, sit up straight, drawing the abdominals in and up. Lift the feet off the ground, so the shins are parallel to the floor. Reach the arms forward at shoulder height. If you need support balancing, feel free to hold onto the back of the thighs, and test periodically with the arms reaching forward. Hold this for one minute before continuing to exercise #7.
7. V-Up Extension: Starting in position #6, Extend the legs straight out and lower the torso down towards the floor, without resting on the ground. Exhale, and draw the abdominals in further to return to position #6. If you need help balancing, you can bring the finger tips to the floor near the side of the hips. Repeat this 15x, then continue to exercise #8 and #9.
8, 9. V-Up Twist: Holding position #6, cross the arms like you're holding a baby, in the unsafest way possible that is. Twist right, reaching the elbows down towards the ground, then twist left. With this exercise you want to feel like you're wringing out the obliques and the spine. Breathing consistently. Repeat 20x, then rest!
You did it! How do you feel? Is it harder than it looks? Let me know in the comments below, and make sure to sign up for email updates if you're looking for more workouts like this!