People think that when you say CORE, you mean the abs. But really, it’s not just the abs, that make up the core.
The core makes up nearly half the body and includes all muscles that attach to the pelvis and spine. Run, jump, twist, bend, or brace, and those muscles must fire in concert.
So here are the top core exercises I do to get my fitness up to par and my pre-baby body back, postpartum!
Side Plank Oblique Crunch
Though this works the oblique muscles, you really need to engage the core in order not to fall over. This is a great one that many folks miss as they just focus on plank. When you try to work a muscle that rarely gets used, it’s harder to stay steady and not wobble.
To do the Side Plank Oblique Crunch, set up in a side plank from your hands and feet with your feet stacked and your hand under your shoulder. Lift up and keep your bottom hip up as you hold.
Then, holding this side plank position, extend your top hand over your head as you lift your top leg up. Then crunch your elbow to your knee without letting your bottom hip drop. Move slowly to crunch and then extend your arm and leg back out before repeating the crunch!
Frog Jump Plank
Massive HIIT cardio intense as well as core intense. An awesome plank move that challenges not only your body from core, shoulders to legs, but also pushes your flexibility.
Start in plank position. Explode your legs from that position and land your feet outside your hands’ position into a squat position. Jump back and return to plank position. You can jump from side to side always returning to plank, for added difficulty. Repeat.
When performing the leg scissors, the lower and straighter the legs, the harder you work your lower abs. What we think of as the core muscles — the rectus abdominis, or six-pack, and the obliques, which span the entire side of your torso — are essential for bending and twisting. Even more crucial for a solid center is the transversus abdominis. Buried under the other abdominals, this thick muscle wraps around your torso and acts like a girdle, keeping your core tight and aligned.
Forever action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Your abs are activated and working, so now, make sure you work your lower back too. Located in your lower back, the quadratus lumborum is a muscle most of us don’t even know we have, until we neglect it so long that it goes into spasm and causes that familiar back pain and tightness.
Very few exercises are this subtle with such powerful results. Done properly this exercise directly strengthens the muscles around your lumbar spine or your “low back.” This is where most back injuries and pain occur. Modify this move by lifting just your right arm and left leg first, then left arm and right leg.
Lie down on stomach with arms and legs long. Draw abdominals up and away from the mat and pull shoulders down away from ears.
Squeeze abs, back muscles and glutes to lift arms and legs off the mat. Release to start position with control. Perform repetitions till muscle failure.
Lie on the floor face up with your feet together and your legs lifted off the ground to make an L shape. Reach up and touch your toes. Return toward the starting position. Repeat till failure