At the Core
Fitness magazines seem to include a piece on core strengthening exercises in every single issue. You know the drill – a multi-page spread featuring a 20-something-year-old woman in little shorts and a high pony doing a series of exercises on a beach or next to a worldly monument or in an exotic looking grass hut. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend their mornings doing plank pose in a little grass hut?
For those of us whose mornings look more like “get up and stumble to the coffeemaker, slurp down some coffee/check my email/start blog post/go for workout/race into shower/read books with kids/take kids to school,” there is no side plank and there is definitely no grass hut in sight. But this doesn’t mean we don’t need to work on our core strength. We all need a solid core in order to do everything from cleaning our houses to playing sports to having sex. So if you’re like me, and struggle to find focused time for core work, here are three simple ways to fit it in:
- Just stand up straight. Seriously, just focusing on your posture can make a huge difference. Stomach muscles pulled toward the spine and tailbone tucked under. Yes, it’s easier than it looks.
- Move during the day. Pick up toys off the floor. Reach for things on the top shelf. Work standing up. All of these little movements add up.
- TRX, TRX, TRX. TRX is an amazing tool that works your abs while you work other muscle groups. It’s a great way to work your core while you work other muscle groups at the same time.
If you still need convincing that core strength matters, check out this article from Harvard’s Healthbeat newsletter. And if you’re a runner, here’s some great advice about core workouts for running. Oh, and if you can figure out how to make that grass hut thing work on a regular basis, please let me know how.
How do you keep your core strong? And how has having a strong core helped you in your workouts and in your life?
R and I do the pilates ab series 4 to 5 times a week. It just takes a few minutes. 🙂
I, too, focus on short bursts of ab exercises. I have to really force myself to remember to get down on the floor and do some Pilates while my kiddo plays.
For Runners interested in running using your core body (and gravity) rather than legs, check out ChiRunning. It’s awesome (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H26liWMDH8U).