Exercises that Build Core Strength
Core strengthening exercises are most effective when the torso works as a solid unit and both front and back muscles contract at the same time, multi joint movements are performed and stabilization of the spine is monitored. Abdominal bracing is a basic technique used during core exercise training. To correctly brace, you should attempt to pull your navel back in toward your spine. This action primarily recruits transverse abdominus. You should be able to breathe evenly while bracing and not hold your breath.
Before starting any exercise regime or programme you should consider consulting a qualified fitness adviser and your own doctor if you have any medical condition or related concerns. The exercises shown/described are intended as a guide only and for the specific use of anyone who attends or who has attended my classes. They should not be treated as a substitute for professional, personal supervision and advice. Anyone employing any of the exercises shown/described does so entirely at their own risk and I cannot be held responsible for any injury which may occur as a result of these exercises. No information in this website should be used to prevent, treat or diagnose medical conditions of any kind. Anyone undertaking any new form of exercise, should first of all consult their Doctor.
The Plank Abdominal Exercise
The basic plank exercise is excellent if you want to improve your core strength and stability.
· Begin in the plank position with your forearms and toes on the floor.
· Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to
toes with no sagging or bending.
· Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
· Hold this position for 10 seconds to start.
· As you grow stronger, work up to 1 or 2 minutes.
How to Do the Bridge Exercise
· Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent and feet flat on
· Make sure your feet are under your knees.
· Exhale as you pull your navel back toward your spine.
· Peel up, one vertebra at a time, as far as your shoulder blades. Do not go up as far as your neck.
· Raise your hips up to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders.
· If your hips sag or drop, lower yourself back on the floor.
· The goal is to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your knees and hold
for 20 to 30 seconds.
· As you exhale, draw your navel to your spine and slowly replace your spine onto
the mat, in sequence, one vertebra at a time.
· You may need to begin by holding the bridge position for a few seconds as you build your strength. It's better to hold the correct position for a shorter time than to go longer in the incorrect position.
The bridge exercise is a great way to isolate and strengthen the gluteus muscles and hamstrings (back of the upper leg). If you do this exercise correctly, you also will find that it is a good core strengthening exercise that strengthens both the abdominal muscles as well as the lower back muscles. Finally, the bridge exercise is considered a basic rehab exercise to improve core and spinal stabilisation.