Why You Should Work Your Core More
It’s the beginning of the new year, and the top of everyone’s resolution list is to get abs like (insert celebrity name here). But there is actually a lot more to building core strength than just getting ready for swimsuit season. Your core is a part of what is known as your body’s trunk, which is your entire midsection – the chest, abdomen, and back. Having a strong trunk means your posture rocks, you have less day-to-day pain, and you have better overall balance and stability. Sounds good, right? Give this no-equipment-needed core workout a try and start your journey toward a stronger core and a stronger trunk.
The Workout Layout
Do this workout at home or at the TAVA Waters’ state-of-the-art athletic club. We are going to list five different exercises below. Do each movement for one minute before going on to the next – without any rest! Go through the set of five exercises three times, giving yourself one minute of rest after completing each full set. That means your total core workout will be only about 17 minutes long!
1) Bird Dogs
Yogis, where you at? You see the Bird Dog at a lot of yoga studios – but you don’t have to be a yoga enthusiast to benefit from it! Placed on all fours, you will be alternatingly reaching out and crunching in the middle with an opposite hand and an opposite leg. Keep your tummy tight and hips as stable as you can throughout the entire movement.
2) Leg Lifts
The leg lift exercise is great for targeting the lower section of your abs. Lie flat on your back with palms facing down. Bring your feet together, legs fully extended, and raise them up until your body make an “L” shape. Slowly bring them back down to tap the floor before repeating the movement. Like any core exercise, the slower and more controlled you are, the better your muscles work.
3) Elbow Planks
Planks – we all know them, and some of us love them. Why is this exercise such a staple movement for any workout regimen? Planks build the foundation for a stabilized core. Start by raising up on your elbows and toes. Make sure your shoulders are stacked above your elbows and your back is perfectly straight – no sagging or arching up!
4) Mountain Climbers
Leave your hiking boots and walking sticks in the closet. You won’t need them for this movement. The mountain climber is a great way to kick your heart rate up a notch while also engaging the core – a two for one! Start in a tall plank position, up on your hands instead of your elbows this time. Keeping your entire body straight, start alternating tucking one knee to your chest and then the other. Start out slow and eventually work up to a quicker pace.
5) Side-to-Side Oblique Crunches
Strengthening your obliques helps stabilize your spine, guarding against back injuries and reversing the effects of desk job posture. For these side-to-side-oblique crunches, lie on your back, bring your knees up to a tabletop position, and lift your shoulders and neck off the ground. From there, you will stretch your hands out to hover above the ground and reach side to side. Make sure the movement doesn’t wander down to your hips. They should remain locked in place the whole time.
If you’re looking for a great space to try your new core workout, the TAVA Water’s athletic club is a perfect spot. Call our friendly leasing staff for a tour of it and our awesome apartment community.