As we mentioned last week, core strength is something that is highly sought after in our clients. Little do they know, your core is made up of more than just the abdominals. While the abdominals are a large part of the core, other muscles include the Multifudus (muscles that run between the vertebra in the the spine), Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus, Pelvic Floor Muscles as well as the Scapular Stabilizers. So in reality, your core is a lot larger and more intricate than you think.
There are many bodyweight exercises you can do to activate and strengthen your core muscles however we think it is always important to start with the absolute basic exercises: holding a plank, wood choppers, or standing core work.
Our client Sandra who we introduced to you a few weeks ago needed to work on her core strength as well as her balance so we decided to whip out our HumanX Gear Balance Trainer. This small balance pad is a great tool you can use in many ways but as we mentioned above it is always smart to start with just your body weight, and add extra weight as needed.
We had Sandra perform a couple different exercises with the Balance Trainer pad which is small enough to fit in your gym bag! We started off with a standing single-leg front raise. First we had Sandra just work on getting her balance on one foot on the pad (believe it or not that alone is a great core activator). We had her hold her balance for as long as she could for a few sets before giving her a 10lb weight to hold. She then performed 3 sets of 10 front raises WHILE still balancing on one foot-definitely one of those things where it LOOKS way easier than it actually is! After switching to the other leg, we had Sandra perform exercise #2 which was your basic plank however we slipped the Balance Trainer under her feet to create an unstable surface. This increased the intensity of the exercise just enough to make what usually is an easy 45 second plank a little more of a challenge. To increase the intensity even more you can use two Balance Trainer’s (one under each leg).
Check out the video HERE
Try adding in these 2 core burners at the end of your next workout for a finisher. We promise this will not only give you a strong core of steel, but you will notice improvements in your other lifts, daily activities and all around fitness level.
Until next time,
Alessandra & Josh