20 February 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - 3 comments

Working Out Wednesday! The Core!

How was your workout last week?? Isn't that a fun and of course sweaty workout?? I truly love when I get to do that with my friends!

Well this week we're gonna talk about the core. Your core is the most important part of having a healthy and fit body. Your core helps with all aspects of your workouts and is even important in your daily life. The stronger your core, the stronger your body. The core, or trunk, of your body is your center of gravity. Strong core muscles — abdominal, back and pelvis — provide support to your spine for everything from walking, lifting and standing to sitting. Weak core muscles may lead to poor posture, lower back pain and injury.

A great place to start strengthening your core is with Pilate's. I stared palates before I joined the gym and I really loved it, I did it in my home with tapes and felt an instant change in myself. Check out Winsor Pilates, it has a great 20 minute workout that's all about the core, you'll sweat AND loose inches, but most of all gain strength. One of my favorite exercises is the Pilate's 100 which is a breathing exercise & is meant to begin circulating your blood to warm up the body.

Here's how to do it:

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent in toward your chest. Deeply inhale, and as you exhale feel your chest & belly sink into the floor beneath you.
2. Bring your head up to look at your belly, by keeping the neck straight and curling your upper torso.
3. Lift forward until you feel the bottom of your shoulder blades pressing into the floor.
4. Stretch your arms out beside you as if you were trying to touch the wall across from you.
5. Keeping your arms straight, pump them as though you were slapping water just above the floor.
6. Inhale & exhale for 5 counts all the while reaching forward as you breathe.
7. Continue this exercise for as long as possible (or until the count of 100).

Here are several more core exercises that will strengthen and tone:


This exercise works many of your core muscles in combination.

Lie on your back with your knees bent
(A). Keep your back in a neutral position — not overly arched and not pressed into the floor. Avoid tilting your hips up.
Cough to activate your transversus abdominis. Holding the contraction in your abdominal muscles, raise your hips off the floor
(B). Align your hips with your knees and shoulders. Hold this position and take three deep breaths — or for about five to eight seconds.
Return to the start position and repeat.
For a challenge, try alternately extending one knee while maintaining the bridge position.

Here are 2 of my absolute favorite core/ab exercises!

Crunches and The Plank

Here's how their done!

Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
Hold your hands wherever you feel comfortable (on your chest or beside your head - just be sure you don't pull on your head). The typical crunch is taught by instructing you to simply roll your upper torso forward. This is fine to start with.
To increase the effectiveness of the crunch movement, push your chest and head up towards the ceiling pushing your lower back flat onto the floor. Your anatomy will automatically cause you to follow a crunching pattern. Trying to crunch up towards the ceiling will increase the tension on the abs. Hold at the top of the movement for a second and squeeze hard.
Do not lift up into a sit-up as this works the hip flexors and can strain your back.

The Plank:

The plank exercise is a great way to build endurance in both the abs and back, as well as stabilizer muscles.
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.

Okay I think that's a great place to start for core exercises! Here are some good links for more exercises. Also remember that YOU CAN DO THEM WITH THE KIDS! Or when you're watching TV. Good Luck! I can't wait to hear all about your week!
  • This site has good video, but some exercises are HARD

  • Women's Health-Abs Workout

  • Fitness Magazine - Ab with no sit ups!

  • And of course we can't end the Workout Wednesday with out a good recipe!!! Check this out!
  • Grilled Flank Steak With Chile-Tomato Salsa!

  • Here's what's coming next week! "There's More To It Than Exercise"


    If I read this every wednesday, will I get in shape?

    Of course you will Terri!!!!!

    I can read it now! For a while there I couldn't see your blog! Nice workout...let's see if I can get myself to do it!!!!