Thursday, May 13, 2010

Core work for stability

I am upping my core workouts to prepare for my Chester Trail 10 mile run in June! 
Core is SO important and I used to do a nice job of including it in my workouts, but the truth is, it should be a foundation of our workouts, not something we just do at the end.  YOU can work your core muscles everyday without fatigue. They are strong suckers. 

Trail running recruits more muscles than running on even ground because our full body & all muscles are engaged in covering the uneven terrain. 

Strengthening our core allows our lower body to work more efficiently and from the center of our power. Balance and stability core work like on a stability ball, plank, yoga and pilaties are great workouts because they allows us to focus on posture at the same time as strength and stability.  

Here's a run down of what I am doing with a few new ( to me) fun moves! 

  • Plank: 60 seconds x 3
  • oblique crunches with stability ball: 30 each side
  • crunches with medicine ball at back: 45-60
  • Stability ball lower ab roll: 30 (VIDEO!)
  • Stability ball bridge with hamstring roll: 15-20 
  • (depending on my running, my legs may not handle more than 15-20 reps.)
  • Woodchopper with medicine ball: 20 each side

Sets: 4 per week goal! It looks like a lot to me right now, but I am working changing the way I view core work! The thing that DOES concern me is that I have, in the past, set goals like this and then didn't make it!! I have this PRINTED out and taped to my computer and TV. I also have 4 days dedicated to abs in my planner. After all, I am planning to succeed , not fail. 

Plank: elbows under shoulders, head down and neck neutral, pulling belly button to the ceiling and lifting hips just slightly!

Oblique crunches on stability ball: done with your feet, a little wider than hip distance apart and  anchored to a wall or some stable area. Hips and obliques on the ball just enough that when you crunch up, your obliques come off the ball. Crunch away keeping your body in a straight line. 

These are basic crunches, but on our upper half. We start back on the medicine ball and coming back just slightly farther than a regular crunch on the floor, using the ball to move into a tiny back bend. Chin and eyes UP, elbows back! 

When doing  the woodchopper you should keep your knees slightly bent, feet hip distance apart and hips facing forward. Your hips shouldn't move, you want to twist in the obliques as you lift a medicine ball or free weights up and then across your body down to your side.  
DON'T always look down like me, sheesh Mary!

The stability ball bridge with hamstring roll begins with your feet and calves on the ball as you lay on your back. Lift your hips up into a bridge and pull your feet toward your butt, leading with the heels. Lift your hips to keep the bridge as you roll the ball and then return it. 
Stability ball Lower ab roll: 

What a treat, a vlog for your Thursday!  

Do you focus on core or is it something you need to work on TOO? 


Katie said...

Core is definitely something I need to work out. I usually just do full body workouts but never really just a full blown core workout. I really need to start working on that.

Thanks for the exercises. I'll definitely be adding some of those to my workout.

One question: What's the foam thing you use during your crunches? And why do you use it?

Thanks :)

Mary said...

Happy Thursday you guys!

So, when I made my VOLG, I was only going to demo that move and the oblique crunches on the SB, obviously I ended up sharing them all!

Hi Katie! To answer your question it's not a foam thing, it's an 8 lb medince ball and the idea is the same as a stability ball crunch( in that with our back off the ground we can extend just a little into a back bend getting a wider range of motion for the crunch.

You could use a foam roller or a regular stability ball also, it would have the same effect. WebMD talks about this "move" in relation to a product called Bender Ball. The move is more effective than regular crunches, but SO much is. Hope this helps!

The Curvy Life said...

Thanks for sharing! I have started working with the trainer again and we do a lot of core- she wants to make sure I am string for my half-marathon this fall! I also started doing yoga last night! THAT will def help!! :)


Nicci@NiftyEats said...

I definitley need to focus more on my core amnd pull out my ball.

Lindsay said...

I for sure focus on my Core! Thanks for the reminder on how important it is!

Cindy said...

So, literally. Watching your video, and you start to explain it and I:

Throw my arms in the air in celebration.
I exclaim, "I've done that!!!!!"

Oh I was proud. :)

Love you, girlie.

teacherwoman said...

I have been working to incorporate more core strengthening in my routine! It's so rewarding, for sure! I am always looking for new and fun core workouts to try and you have a couple here that I haven't done in a while, so it will be nice to changes things up a bit! Thanks!

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