Sculpt Your Core The Correct Way
Just to reiterate. There is no such thing as “spot reduction”. The key to revealing your six-pack and lose fat from your midsection is to reduce overall body fat by following a strict regimen of full body exercises, adequate cardio, and a healthy diet. With that being said, spending 5-10 minutes on core specific exercises can help strengthen your entire core, which is the foundation to functional strength. Here is a great body-weight routine to start your workout that I have been using over the past few weeks to strengthen the core and also to get the blood flowing to all muscle groups in preparation for a workout.
1. Forearm Plank To Pushup Plank
Step 1: Get down into a plank position, preferably on an exercise mat or matted floor. Extend your body to its full length, so that your toes are touching the floor at one end and you are resting on your forearms at the other. Your back should be straight and your butt down, in line with the rest of your body.
Step 2: Moving one arm at a time, left yourself up into a standard push-up position. Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight.
Step 3: Once you reach the push-up position, move one arm at a time back into the starting plank position. Repeat the exercise for eight to 12 repetitions (per arm), alternating which arm you move first between positions.
2. Side Plank Variation
Step 1: Get into side plank position on your right forearm with your hips up and a straight line between your head and ankles.
Step 2: With your left hand behind your head and that elbow pointed up, slowly twist at the waist until your torso makes a 90-degree turn and your left elbow touches the floor.
Step 3: Try to make sure the rotation comes from the upper torso and the thoracic spine. Complete for 10-15 reps. Repeat for each opposite side.
3. Spider Man Pushups
Step 1: Assume the standard pushup position, with core and glutes tight.
Step 2: As you lower your body toward the floor, lift your right foot off the floor, swing your right leg out sideways, and try to touch your knee to your elbow.
Step 3: Reverse the movement, then push your body back to the starting position.
Step 4: Repeat, but on your next repetition, touch your left knee to your left elbow. Continue to alternate back and forth for 10 reps/leg
4. Advanced Bird Dog
Step 1: Position yourself on your hands and knees on a comfortable surface.
Step 2: Lift left leg and right arm off the mat and extend outwards, away from each other in a “superman-like” position. (Or is it captain america?)
Step 3: Bring leg and arm back into neutral position but instead of grounding them bring your elbow in to touch your knee to create a crunch.
Step 4: Repeat motion for 10-20 reps for each side.
Step 1: Lie face up on the floor with your legs and arms straight.
Step 2: Hold your arms straight above the top of your head. In one movement, simultaneously lift your torso and legs as if you’re trying to touch your toes.
Step 3: Lower your body back to the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 controlled reps.
6. Leg Raise Iso holds
Step 1: Lie on a bench on your back with your butt at the edge of the bench and legs extended out. Hands can be placed under your low back for support, or holding onto the bench.
Step 2: Raise legs 6-12 inches above parallel( at about a 30 degree angl) and engage your hip flexors and lower abs.
Step 3: Hold for 30-60 seconds. (To make it more challenging place a 10 lb weight in between your feet as pictured above.)
7. Bicycle Iso Holds
Step 1: Lie supine on the floor with your hips and knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet off the floor. Place your fingers lightly behind your head for support or behind your ears. Do not pull on your head. Allow your elbows to flare out from your ears.
Step 2: Exhale and lift your right shoulder toward your left knee as your extend your right leg away from you and hold for a 3 second count with the core engaged.
Step 3: In a fluid motion repeat, alternating sides in a bicycle motion. Complete 10 reps/side for a 60 second exercise.
Thanks to everyone who has been reading and leaving comments. Please let me know if you have any questions.
From South Bend,