My Usual Core Exercises
(San Diego CA)
I don't do all of them at once. I go with 2 or 3 and alternate through them.
I Bicycle Exercise
1. Lie face up on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head.
2. Bring the knees in towards the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the ground without pulling on the neck.
3. Straighten the left leg out while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee.
4. Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.
5. Continue alternating sides in a 'pedaling' motion
II. Vertical Leg Crunch
1. Lie face up on the floor and extend the legs straight up with knees crossed.
2. Contract the abs to lift the shoulder blades off the floor, as though reaching your chest towards your feet.
3. Keep the legs in a fixed position and imagine bringing your belly button towards your spine at the top of the movement.
4. Lower and repeat for 12-16 reps
III. Long Arm Crunch
1. Lie on a mat and extend the arms straight out behind the head with hands clasped, keeping the arms next to the ears.
2. Contract the abs and lift the shoulder blades off the floor.
3. Keep the arms straight and avoid straining the neck. If you feel neck pain, take one hand behind the head while keeping the other arm extended.
4. Lower and repeat for 12-16 reps.
IV. Reverse Crunch
1. Lie on the floor and place hands on the floor or behind the head.
2. Bring the knees in towards the chest until they're bent to 90 degrees, with feet together or crossed.
3. Contract the abs to curl the hips off the floor, reaching the legs up towards the ceiling.
4. Lower and repeat for 12-16 reps.
5. It's a very small movement, so try to use your abs to lift your hips rather than swinging your legs and creating momentum.
V. Full Reverse Crunch
1. Lie on your back and extend the legs up towards the ceiling.
2. Place hands behind your head (lightly cupping it) and contract the abs to lift the shoulder blades off the floor.
3. At the same time, press the heels towards the ceiling, creating a 'u' shape with the torso.
4. Lower down and repeat for 12-16 reps.
VI. The Plank
1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air.
5. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
VII. Exercise Ball Crunch
Note: you need an exercise ball
1. Lie face-up with the ball resting under your mid/lower back.
2. Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head.
3. Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
4. As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., you shouldn't roll).
5. Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 12-16 reps.
VIII. Captain's Chair
note: u can do this in the kitchen on the inside of a corner. just use the two sides to hold yourself up
1. Stand on chair and grip handholds to stabilize your upper body.
2. Press your back against the pad and contract the abs to raise the legs and lift knees towards your chest.
3. Don't arch the back and remember to breathe smoothly.
4. Slowly lower back down and repeat for 12-16 reps.
IX. Torso Track
Note: this works with a piece of cardboard or an ab wheel
1. Grip the handles of the Torso Track and pull the abs in without holding your breath (as though bracing them).
2. Exhale and glide forward as far as you comfortably can. If you collapse in the middle and feel it in your back, you've gone too far.
3. Contract the abs to pull your body back.
4. Add tension by using more tension chords.
X. Mountain Climber
1. Start in push up position with your hands directly below your shoulders and your feet together
2. Bend your left knee and draw it toward your chest
3. Extend back to start
4. Repeat with right leg. That's one rep. Do 20-30 moving quickly.
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