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Core Conditioning - It's More than than just Abs Part 2

Here is the second installment in our two part blog about Core Conditioning. In our previous post we discussed what the ”Core” is and what role it plays.  So we know that we should put more of an emphasis on working the Core Muscles but we might not know how to do this. Today’s post provides some exercises which specifically target the core muscles and might be of use to you in some of your training or workout plans.

1. Reverse Crunch

Lie with your back on the ground, hands by your sides, knees bent and feet off the floor (easier with ankles crossed), so your knees create a 90 degree angle. Clench your abdominal muscles and raise hips toward the rib cage, which lifts your tailbone off the floor. Hold for 1-2 seconds then lower yourself back into starting position. Try not to use your hands to stabilize the exercise.

Repeat this between 12-16 times for 3 sets.

2. Arm and Leg Raise

Lie stomach down with arms above your head. Clench stomach muscles and begin to raise your right arm and your left leg. Hold this for 4-5 seconds. Lower, rest a second then repeat the above instruction with the opposite leg and arm. Try not to arch your back by keeping your pelvis tucked. As your core strengthens try to use the arm and leg from the same side of the body.

Repeat this 8-12 times for 3 sets.

3. Bicycle

Lying flat on your back, place your hands at the back of your head. Again clench your coremuscles, brings up your knees to a 45-degree angle and raise your shoulder blade off the ground. Turning your upper body to the left, bring your right elbow toward your left knee and extend your right leg. After this changes the side you perform the exercise on. Continue this pedaling motion

Repeat between 12-16 times for 3 sets.

4. Vertical Leg Crunch

Lying on your back, place your hands down by your side for support. Crunch your stomach muscle by raising the top half of your body towards your legs. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor and then come back down slowly.

Repeat this exercise 15-20 times for 3 sets.

5. Plank

Not only is the Plank good for your Abs but it strengthens your back as well. Position your body face down and the lift your body up onto your elbows. Then lift your feet off the ground and balance them on the tips of your toes. Make sure your back is straight, with your backside down and head looking down. Hold this for between 45-60 and then release. You will feel your core muscles shaking during this.

Repeat this 3 times during your workout

These are just a few of the more commonly performed exercises in a core workout but there are of course countless others which individuals of all standards can use. Fitness professionals and Chartered Physios would be more than happy to guide you in the right direction if you are unsure of what exercises to do and how to do them. We hope this post is of some use to you. Good luck with your core conditioning!!

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