Reach the Core of Fitness

You probably don’t think much about your home’s foundation. Wall colors, window treatments, landscaping, and other more superficial details get more frequent attention.

The same is true of your body. If you exercise to build strength, you probably focus on your arms and legs and ignore the muscular foundation of all movement: the core.

Many people think of the core strictly in terms of abdominal muscles, specifically the ones that form a “six pack.” But there is so much more to the core. Your core includes muscles in the back, stomach and pelvis, all of which support your spine and transfer power throughout your body.

Here are a couple of exercises you can do at home to work on your core strength. Try them today!

Curl-Ups: Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With hands lightly touching behind your head, elbows pointing to either side, slowly BirdDogPoseraise your shoulders and upper back off the floor to the count of two. Your mid-back should remain in contact with the floor. It’s not a full sit-up. Pause and then lower your shoulders back down to the count of two. Exhale as you rise up and inhale as you lower down. Repeat 10 times or until you cannot maintain proper form. Make sure you don’t pull your head with your hands. Keep your chin pointed toward the ceiling.

Bird-Dog: Begin on your hands and knees on a comfortable surface such as an exercise mat or carpet. Without flexing your back, lift your right hand and left knee off the floor at the same time. Your hand should be extended out in front of you and your foot should be straight back behind you until arm and leg are parallel to the floor. Bring your knee and hand back down. Now lift your left hand and right knee. Repeat 10 times.

Your core muscles do much of their essential work without you even being aware of them. But give them a little attention in the form of these exercises and you’ll experience the benefits of keeping your body’s foundation strong.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC