Fitness Stimulus Plan – Addressing the Core Issues

Good day Yanks! You can’t solve a problem without first getting to the core of it. Let’s evaluate our core issues and crunch that beer-belly to smithereens. 

A strong core is an invaluable asset. It gives you better balance and posture and can even help reduce back pain. Your core is made up of many muscles including your rectus abdominus (what you think of as your “abs”), transverse abdominus (the deepest internal core internal core muscle that wraps round your sides and spine), erector spinae (a set of muscles in your lower back) and the internal and external obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen). The best and most efficient core exercises are ones that work the entire muscle groups at once.

Choose 4-5 exercises below, or do them all if you’re feeling frisky. This is a free country after all, right? Try 12-15 repetitions of each exercise and repeat the circuit 2-4 times. Most core exercises use only body weight so are easy to perform while under house arrest.

If you feel any tension in your lower back during these exercises, stop, rest and reset making sure your abdominals are fully engaged and that your back is not arched. If you still feel discomfort, skip that exercise and try another that keeps your back in a safer position. 

Now stop procrastinating and make that stomach ache!

Yabba Dabba Doo,

Uncle Sam

Super(wo)man:

Primary Muscles: Middle back, Lower back

Secondary Muscles: Abs

1. Lie on your stomach with your legs and arms fully extended.

2. Lift both legs and arms off the floor and hold for 2 seconds.

3. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Bicycle Crunches:

Primary Muscles: Abs, Obliques

Secondary Muscles: Glutes, Hip flexors, quads

1. Lie on your back, lift your shoulders off the floor and raise both legs.

2. Bring one knee and the opposing elbow close to each other by crunching to one side and fully extend the other leg.

3. Return to the starting position and then crunch to the opposite side.

Bird Dawgs:

Primary Muscles: Abs, Middle back, Lower back

Secondary Muscles: Glutes, Hip flexors

1. Start on your hands and knees with hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips.

2. Extend one leg and the opposite arm at the same time.

3. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, return to the starting position and switch sides.

The Covid Crunch:

Primary Muscles: Abs

1. Lie down, keep your knees bent, your back and feet flat and your arms supporting your head.

2. Lift your shoulders, squeeze the abs and hold for 1 to 2 seconds.

3. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Flutter Kicks:

Primary Muscles: Abs

Secondary Muscles: Quads, Hip flexors

1. Lie on your back with hands by your sides or place them under your butt.

2. Alternate stacking your feet on top of each other.

Heel Touchers:

Primary Muscles: Abs

Secondary Muscles: Obliques

1. Lie on your back, keep your knees bent, arms at the sides and keep back and feet flat on the floor.

2. Crunch forward and to the left, touching your left heel with your left hand and hold.

3. Return to starting position and repeat on the right side.

Oblique Crunch:

Primary Muscles: Abs, Obliques

Secondary Muscles: Upper back, Legs

1. Lie on your right side with your legs straight, feet off the floor and left hand behind the head.

2. Bend both knees, raise your torso and, as you squeeze the abs try touching your left knee with your left elbow.

3. Straighten both legs, lower your torso back to the floor, repeat and then switch sides.

Plank:

Primary Muscles: Abs

Secondary Muscles: Lower Back

1. Get into the push up position, with your elbows under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.

2. Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms and toes. Keep your body in a straight line.

3. Hold until the cows come home.

The Putin Conspiracy (a.k.a The Russian Twist):

Primary Muscles: Abs, Obliques

Secondary Muscles: Lower Back

1. Lie down with your legs bent at knees.

2. Elevate your upper body so that it creates a V shape with your thighs.

3. Twist your torso to the right, and then reverse the motion, twisting to the left.

Side Plank:

Primary Muscles: Obliques

Secondary Muscles: Core

1. Lie on your side with your body fully extended.

2. Lift your body off the ground and balance your weight between the forearm and side of your foot. Keep body in a straight line.

3. Hold until you’re shaking like a leaf.

Toe Groper:

Primary Muscles: Abs

Secondary Muscles: Core, Upper Back

1. Lie on your back holding a dumbbell, and lift your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.

2. Extend your arms, lift shoulders off the ground and try touching your feet with the dumbbell.

3. Return to start and repeat.

The Civil War North / South Plank:

Primary Muscles: Core, Arms

Secondary Muscles: Glutes, Wrists, Shoulders

1. Starting in the plank position with hands and feet hip-width apart.

2. Bend your left arm, place your elbow on the floor and then bend your right arm and place right arm on the floor

3. Place your left hand on the floor, straighten your left arm and then place right hand on the floor and straighten.

4. Repeat.

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