Strengthening your Core

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Fitness trainers Chris & Marty Smits joined Chris to show him 5 great exercises to strengthen the core.

Watch episode 168 now

Chris & Marty explain that 'the core' is a buzzword in the fitness world is because it is the area of your body where all movement originates. And as important as the core is, it is often an area that is neglected in fitness training.

A strong core gives you:

  • Increased protection and 'bracing' for your back
  • Controlled movement
  • A more stable centre of gravity

When you have good core stability, the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen work in harmony. They provide support to your spine for just about any activity.

A weak core can make you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries. Strong core muscles provide the brace of support needed to help prevent such pain and injury.

Exercises:

1.    Alternating Superwoman's
  • This exercise focuses on the butt and the erectors in the back and ties the two together.
  • Pull your belly button in, stabilize hips and Back should be flat.
  • Make sure to lift opposite hand and knee at the same time
  • Extend arm and leg until they are straight light you are fling through the air as superwoman
  • Trouble Shooting: If your flopping all over the place then your pelvic floor is not engaged properly

2.    Plank
  • This is an excellent exercise that does it all for the core. it targets the TVA's, Abs, and Low back, again making them work as one unit.
  • Tips: Elbows underneath shoulder, flat back, feet hip width apart, drive that belly button into your spine
  • Don't forget to breath
  • Trouble shooing: If your hips start to drop below the line of the body then your pelvic floor is not firing properly hips should stay in a straight line.

3.    Fire Hydrants
  • This exercise targets the the glute med, which supports your lower back in a big way.
  • Tips: Hands underneath shoulders, knees under hips, pull in the pelvic floor and lift the leg out to the side, lower down slowly
  • Trouble shooting: Make sure that when you lift your leg out to the side that you limit the rotation of the hips to the outside

4.    Side Bridge
  • This exercise targets the obliques and the TVA's
  • Tips: Elbow underneath shoulder, hand flat on mat for stability, feet or knees together..Engage your pelvic floor, get you head and chest up, hand on the hip and raise your hip off the floor until your body makes a straight line. Hold and dont forget to breath
  • Trouble shooting: If you feel like you are falling forward then adjust your posture... raise your chest up have your head in a neutral position

5.    Hip Raises
  • This exercise targets the buttocks, hamstrings and erectors
  • Tips: Laying on your back, bend your knees so that they are 90 degrees. Hands by your sides. Gently draw your bell button in and push through your heals and raise.. make sure when raising up that you pull your shoulder blades together and down so that you can make a bridge. Pause and slowly lower down.
  • Trouble shooting: make sure that you drive mostly from the heals to engage your butt

For more information on the Smits Brothers visit www.smitsbrothers.com


 

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