- Home Article - All About the CORE – The Top 5 Moves to Master & Why
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Founding Director & Master Trainer KX Pilates
Let’s start by stating the obvious; if you lift weights, your body will become stronger. Run, and your body will become fitter. But if you train your CORE and master these 5 exercises; your body will become SMARTER.
Your CORE is comprised of muscles from your abdominals, hips, pelvis and lower back, and when your CORE is strong, all of these muscles work in harmony. For everyday use, strong CORE stability is vital for premium performance; aiding muscle balance, injury prevention and muscle efficiency. The stronger the CORE, the more powerful the body becomes, allowing for greater body awareness and more explosive movements to be performed (at the very least your sex life will improve 10 fold)!
Starting position: Start in a high plank / push up position with your hands underneath your shoulders and a straight line running from your shoulders to your toes. OR for an easier option a low plank down on your elbows with your elbows under your shoulders.
Execution: Draw your bellybutton up into your body to activate your core and lift your left foot off the ground, ensuring your left hip does not drop. Take a deep breath in to prepare yourself and as you exhale, bend at the knee and bring your knee up to your elbow. Inhale to return. Then alternate legs.
Advancement: Bring your left knee to RIGHT elbow (across your abdominals) OR left knee to the outside of your left elbow, bending from your waist though side flexion (which activates more side obliques).
Starting position: Lie on your side, get down on to your RIGHT elbow and ensure your elbow is under your shoulder. With one leg on top of the other, lift your knees up and straighten your legs so you have a nice straight line running from your shoulders to your toes.
Execution: Ensuring your hips don’t drop, draw your bellybutton into your body to activate your core and lift your left hand up and point it to the ceiling. Nice controlled breaths – you are now holding side plank.
[ADD+] Thread the needle: As you inhale, bring your LEFT hand under and through the space between your right arm and your torso whilst dropping your left shoulder slightly and lifting your hips.
[ADD+] The Dolphin: Hold side plank, inhale and lower your hips towards the floor, exhale and lift the hips towards the ceiling (note: dolphin noises are optional)!
Advancement: Bring your left leg up whilst doing all of the above.
Repeat it all over again on other side!
Starting position: Grab your Swiss ball and get yourself into a plank position; elbows/forearms on the Swiss ball, shoulders over your elbows, knees off the ground and a straight line running from your shoulders to toes.
Execution: Activate your core by drawing your bellybutton up towards your spine. Take a deep breath in and roll the ball away from you so your elbows move away from your body. Exhale with force as you pull the ball back in towards you.
Advancement: Raise one leg throughout the above movement.
Starting position: Lie on your back with your legs long, ankles together and your arms long over your head.
Execution: Inhale to prepare. Exhale, activate your core and tilt your head so your chin touches your chest. Start to lift your arms over your head towards your toes and lift up to a crunch. At the same time lift your legs up off of the ground and pull your body up into a V position. Inhale to slowly lower the legs and roll back down the spine articulating one vertebrae at a time.
Advancements: Hold your V position for longer, lower your body slower. You can also hold a weight in your hand.
Starting Position: Lie on your back with your legs pointing straight up to the ceiling, knees and ankles together and your arms down by your side.
Execution: Take a deep breath in to prepare, pull your belly button down and activate your core, drawing your lower back slightly down to the floor. As you exhale, with both feet together circle your legs around towards the floor and back to the ceiling. Inhale at the top and exhale and circle around in the opposite direction.
Advancements: Lower your legs so your heals just tap the floor, and as you lift your legs up towards the ceiling you can also lift your hips up off of the floor. Crossing your hands over your chest also aids in a more difficult approach to stabilize.
Think you have mastered all the moves and ready to really punish those abs? Then set yourself up for an Ab body blitz.
Note: Choose good technique over speed to avoid injury.