Core Strength to Power Your Day

A strong core is essential for overall well-being. The core is the foundation, providing stability and balance for the spinal column, and creating a base of support for ALL movement. Core muscles include abdominal, muscles those surrounding the spine, around the hip and butt, and in the upper torso.

A strong core provides:

*a healthy low back
*improved ability to exercise
*better posture
*balance and stability to prevent falls
*injury prevention for all muscles
*ability to do everyday tasks

The following 7 exercises work all the muscles of the core. Try this routine at least 2x per week to gain core strength quickly.

Bird Dog -on all fours, raise right arm, left leg, hold one second, switch sides (5 reps each side build to 10) advanced: increase hold to 30 seconds, tap right elbow to left knee

Forearm Plank– elbows directly under shoulders, forearms on the ground, straight body position (hold for 10 or 20 seconds build to 1 minute) beginner: keep your knees on the ground, advanced: work to 3×1 minute, add movement like leg lifts, arm lifts, move hips side to side

Side Plank (forearm)- elbows directly under shoulders, move onto side of one foot, stack other foot on top (hold for 20 seconds build to 40) beginner: keep knees on the ground advanced: combine with regular plank in a sequence

Bicycle– on back, bring right elbow to bent left knee, switch sides (start with 10 build to 30 reps) beginner: sit up with hands supporting, just move legs advanced: move quickly or slowly, add a resistance band at your feet

Superwoman (man)– lay on front side, raise arms, upper body and legs off the ground (up and down 10 times, or hold for 20 seconds build to 1 minute) advanced: vary what is up and what is down, i.e. keep hands on the floor, add movement i.e. jumping jacks

Side-lying Leg Lifts-lay on right side, head on right arm, lift left leg straight up, to the front, back, circle forward & backward (start with 5 reps in each position work up to 20) advanced: add an ankle weight or a band

Bridge and Single Leg Bridge-on back, bend knees, raise hips up (hold for 10-20 seconds, and/or dip for 10-20 reps) bring right leg into chest and raise up on left leg (hold and dip 5-10 reps) advanced: place feet on a bosu, foam roller or bench to vary the work

Try adding just 5 minutes of core exercises in the morning, after a walk, or when you break for the night. After a few weeks you will feel stronger, supporting your posture, improving your workouts and helping prevent falls. A strong core will power you through your day.

Contact a Rolling Strong Coach to learn more about strength training.

by Christy Coughlin, Wellness Coach