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CORE TRAINING Print Email

Training the CORE will help build the foundation for overall stabilization as you move through life. All movement begins at the CORE, which makes this your energy center. Think of it as your body's reservoir that allows you to draw from it and transfer that energy throughout your entire body. As energy is transferred outward you will notice an improvement in balance, increased leg and arm strength, better alignment of the spine and your posture, and an overall feeling of wellbeing and performance. A weak CORE increases your risk for injury, impairs balance and posture alignment, and can lead to premature aging in the body.


Because the CORE muscles support your midsection, they also help maintain the integrity and support of your internal organs. This not only helps protect your organs, but it also maximizes the flow of bodily fluids to your extremities. Efficient blood flow allows nutrients to be delivered throughout the body for better performance, recovery and repair of muscles and cells.



THERE ARE 3 MAIN MUSCLE GROUPS OF THE CORE:

1. Abdominals (front)
2. Obliques (sides)
3. Erectors (back)

CORE muscle groups


THE MOVEMENTS


There are many CORE exercises you can do, but here are 3 of my favorites for targeting the main CORE muscle groups. Each abdominals exercise should take an average of 90 seconds to complete. You should take no longer than 20 seconds to move between each exercise and rest only 60 seconds or less between each (3 exercise) round before starting again. Perform 3 rounds (9 total sets).



Jackknifes

CORE MUSCLES TARGETED:

Rectus abdominis (the 'money maker' 6-pack muscles)

Transverse abdominis - TVA  (your body's natural weight belt)

Serratus anterior (part of the obliques)

 

START

Begin in a push-up position with the tops of your feet on the stability ball and your hands firmly on the floor. Don't allow your back to dip as this will cause compression and pressure on the lower back.

 

MOVEMENT

Without bending at the knees, flex your quads and pull your hips up towards the ceiling until your feet rotate flat onto the ball. As the stability ball roll towards your hands you will achieve a full contraction of your abdominals. Hold for 2 seconds squeezing your abdominal muscles before lowering back down to the starting position. Repeat this movement for each rep.

REPS

15 reps





Plank Quadruped

CORE MUSCLES TARGETED:

Rectus abdominis
Transverse abdominis (TVA)
Erector spinae (outer muscles along the spine)
Multifidus (deep muscles along the spine)
Glutes

 

START

Begin in a plank position with your forearms and toes supporting you on the floor. Your elbows are aligned under your shoulders and your CORE is tight. Don’t allow your back to dip as this will cause compression and pressure on the lower back.

 

MOVEMENT

Maintain this starting posture for 2 seconds before lifting one arm and the opposite leg. Reach each out while maintaining a rigid body. Your arm should extend parallel to the floor with your thumb pointed upward. At the same time lift your leg and point your toe. Hold with both extended for 2 seconds, concentrating on your CORE and keeping your belly pulled in towards your spine. Repeat this movement alternating opposite arm/leg for each rep.

 

REPS

14 total reps


Plank Quadruped - Start
Plank Quadruped - End



Side Plank

CORE MUSCLES TARGETED:

Transverse abdominis (TVA)
External and internal obliques
Serratus anterior

 

START

Begin on your side with your forearm supporting you on the floor. Your elbow should be aligned under your shoulder. Your feet should be straight and stacked on top of one another so that the side of the bottom foot is the only part touching the floor.

 

MOVEMENT

With a tight CORE, belly drawn in and back straight, raise the hips by pushing off of your forearm to create a straight line between your bottom foot and shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds before lowering your hips back to the floor. Barely touch the floor and repeat. Be sure to keep your body straight without leaning forward throughout the movement. Repeat this movement for each rep.

 

REPS

10 reps on each side

*Rest no more than 60 seconds before beginning the next round (starting with Jackknifes again). Perform a total of 3 rounds.


Plank Quadruped - Start
Plank Quadruped - End



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