Right to the Core!
Posted on 22 December 2017
Yes it’s true what they say that abs are made in the kitchen. So basically whatever you put into your body, it will ultimately affect what’s happening on the outside of your body. I’d like to think I eat a pretty relatively balanced diet. But sometimes I want to eat some junk food and not feel bad about it. Hey I’m only human right? I think it’s perfectly normal for human beings to have a vice or something they crave and can’t say no to...well at least once in a while. It’s something the little devil will sit on your shoulder and whisper “what are you waiting for? Just do it. You know you want it.” I’d turn around with that devilish smile and say “yes gimme it!” My kryptonite is chocolate. I’m so bad when I eat chocolate I don’t even like to share. So sometimes when I fall off my daily meal prepping routine, I just need some chocolate.
Don’t get me wrong I love the 6-pack abs look because it looks strong and fierce. But in all honesty I don’t really care about the aesthetics of having rock hard wash board abs. I’m more concerned with having a strong core. I want be able to go about my daily activities and work my job without being in pain. I someday...would want to be able to carry my baby around without any discomfort or have weakness in my core. I want to be able to lift myself up when I’m grey haired and old. So for me the wash board physique is not as important to me as the functionality of everyday survival.
With my background in instructing Pilates and my years of practicing yoga, I’ve complied my favourite core exercises in a mini routine. They range from beginner to advanced movements. All exercises can be modified. On the days when I’m feeling a super lazy I can turn it down a notch and for the days when I’m feeling super energetic I can always kick it up a notch. Here’s my favourite core exercises that you can do anywhere. All you need is a yoga mat or a towel and a little bit of space. Do not rush through the sequence. Focus on the breath, zipping up the core and keeping it tight during the movements. All exercises start in the supine position aka face up. Beginning with an inhale to prepare the exercise and a deep exhale to tighten the core.
Single leg stretch
10 reps per leg
Hug right knee into chest and inhale. Switch
Hug left knee into chest and inhale.
Hug right knee into chest and exhale.
Hug left knee into chest and exhale.
Switch and repeat with the breath
Double leg stretch
Hug knees and arms into chest with inhale.
Extend arms above and behind head and legs out straight with exhale.
Extend both arms straight over head and legs 90 degree bend with inhale.
Exhale lift right arm behind head and left leg down to touch the floor.
Inhale return to starting position.
Exhale lift left arm behind head and right leg down to touch the floor.
Inhale return to starting position.
(slow and controlled with breath)
Inhale twist right elbow to left knee.
Inhale twist left elbow to right knee.
Exhale twist right elbow to left knee.
Exhale twist left elbow to right knee.
Exhale extend legs up to 45 degrees and raise arms in front of body
Reaching fingers towards toes.
Inhale returning on to mat with arms overhead.
Switch and Repeat
Exhale with arms long at the sides of the body and lifting legs straight up to the ceiling.
Exhale bringing feet to touch the floor overhead.
Inhale to return to pike position and slowly returning to starting position on the mat.
To finish off this core routine I like to end with belly breathers. Starting in prone position on hands and knees. Inhale for a count of 10 pulling in core until no more air can be sucked in. It’s usually feels like the ribs are clenched. Exhale for a count of 10 pushing out the air and filling the belly like a balloon. Repeat 10 times. Doing this exercise may make you feel light headed. This is the best abdominal exercise to bring in good oxygen and to release carbon dioxide from the muscles. Feeling the burn in a good way. Remember to always consult your family physician before starting any new workout regime. If you’re ready and willing go ahead and try out this workout! Happy from the inside out. It’s pretty InCOREable!