Core Strength Challenge #9

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As someone with a movement disorder, improving the strength of my core is crucial.

Most people with similar situations have issues with posture. The muscles in the core – transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques – all play an essential role in keeping us balanced and stable.

I’ve been doing the following exercises for around 6 weeks (every 3rd day; 2 times in a week roughly) and have seen a noticeable improvement in my ability to engage my core. These helped me warm up for my main ab strengthening workout.

I’ve also noticed marginal improvements, but i’m also doing lots of different things, which makes it hard to say what exactly is working. I think it’s safe to say that my core strengthening is a contributing factor.

Hopefully, the following ab routine helps you!

Muscles Worked

When I planned out this routine, I was sure to include exercises that worked all of the core muscles.

Transversus abdominis (TrA) – There are three levels of muscle between our skin and our bone. The TrA is the deepest layer. It serves to activate the core muscles and stabilize the pelvis and low back (lumbar). The TrA is activated in many varied activities. A good article to read on the subject can be found by clicking here.

Rectus abdominis – When people typically think of the core, this is what comes to mind. Although commonly referred to as the “six-pack”, there are actually eight (4 pairs) small packets of muscle. The purpose of the rectus abdominis is to aid in flexion of the spine. Any exercise that involves pending forward – sit-ups, crunches, pikes, V-ups, etc. – will help to strengthen (shorten/tighten) this muscles. There are also exercises to stretch (lengthen/loosen) this muscle, but I’ll cover that in another post.

Interior and exterior obliques – These muscles reside on the sides of your lower trunk (from ribs to pelvis). They help with forward-bending (spinal rotation), side-bending (lateral flexion) and forward tilting of the pelvis.

Technique

The emphasis on the following exercises should be in trying to activate the muscles of the core. Don’t worry about how many you can do. Rather, concern yourself with paying attention to feeling the muscles engage.

Slow is best. Don’t worry about how fast you are going. Try and do the movement correctly. Slow and right is much better than fast and wrong. It’s important to build a strong foundation.

Failing to take the time to adopt good habits on the basics will produce unwanted effects in more advanced movements.

The Challenge

Now the good stuff.

I performed this workout as a warm-up to my main ab strengthening routine. It’s a medium intensity thing. Remember, this isn’t a race. It takes about 10 minutes.

The 1st exercise involves jumping. That’s right. Jumping isn’t easy for me and it may not be easy for you either. Be careful here. You may hear a voice saying ‘I don’t want to jump’. It’s fear talking. Now, I don’t know your situation and I certainly wouldn’t want you to do anything unsafe. However, it’s important to discern between discomfort and pain.

  1. Tuck Jumps – 20 seconds
  2. Rest – 10 seconds
  3. Russian Twists – 20 seconds
  4. Rest – 10 seconds
  5. Sit Ups – 20 seconds
  6. Rest – 10 seconds
  7. Hip Ups – 20 seconds
  8. Rest – 10 seconds
  9. Alternating Bird Dogs – 20 seconds
  10. Rest – 10 seconds

Do this series 3 more times (total 4 rounds) which is 600 seconds or 10 minutes. If you need more rest time between sets (depending on your fitness level), please take it.

Here’s the video. I need to get better at this filming thing.

 


If you found this post helpful, please share it.

If there’s anything you need help with fitness-wise, feel free to email me at mark@marked4glory.com

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By |2018-07-20T05:10:18+00:00May 23rd, 2018|Fitness, Top Posts|