I am so excited to share everything I love about fitness wth you all!! I am kind of a fitness freak. I pretty much love any and all workouts. The more challenging, the better! From bootcamp to yoga…I love it all! A few years ago…before kids, I decided to get my Personal Training Certification through ACE. I worked as a personal trainer in an athletic club and through my own training business. Now….I’m just a fitness lover. With years of training clients and myself under my belt, I have learned a lot! What moves work and what moves are wasting your time. I’m hoping to share fitness content at least one day a week. Today..lets start with core strength.
Our core is the center of our body’s movement and probably the most important when it comes to working out. Without a strong core, our body cannot function to its max ability…and I’m not just talking about during exercise, I am also talking about our everyday life. My everyday life consists of carrying groceries, super, ridiculously heavy baskets of laundry(my laundry basket look like a weeks worth when its only one day), and big a$$ toddlers! The core is soooooo important. And let’s be honest, we all want that rock hard, trim tummy! I have listed my top 10 favorite core exercises!
*Side note…All these exercises can be done within your own home (when the kids are napping). You will need a weight(dumbbell, kettlebell, or med ball will do). Small towel and large ball…like a med ball or basketball. A yoga mat is optional. Warmup with some yoga stretches like upward/downward dog. If you have time, some cardio would be great to get your body warm before starting these moves. And always, listen to your body. You are the only one that knows how you feel.
Russian Twists: This exercise is the best for your oblique muscles. If you want a tiny, trim waist….do these! While holding a weight(your choice, make it challenging), rotate side to side while sitting in a V-sit. 3-4 rounds , for 30 seconds.
Planks: Probably the single best exercise for your abs, back, and core. It also works your glutes and hamstrings…yassss! Do these…a lot! The longer you can hold the better. Remember to keep your hiney down and back straight…..hold your tummy in and squeeze your glutes! 3-4 sets, hold 30-60 seconds.
Mountain Climbers: These are a great cardio and full body move that will fire those abdominal and core muscles. Starting in a plank position, drive your knees into your chest, one at a time. 3-4 sets for 30 seconds will kick your butt!
Bird Dog: This is a great move that works your abs, butt, and hips. Starting with your hands and knees on the floor, raise your opposite arm and leg. Try to hold for a few seconds and then repeat with the other side. 3-4 sets for 30 seconds will really work those core and lower back muscles and help with balance.
Side Plank: Side planks work your abs, butt, and hips. Try to keep your legs stacked, but if this is too straining, you can keep your legs staggered. Try to hold each side 3-4 times for 30 seconds. For an extra push, try dipping your hip to the ground and raising up!
Pikes with gliders(or a towel): For this move, you will need a small towel…and a smooth surface, like a wood or tile floor. Start in a plank, keep your legs straight, and pull the towel toward your body into a pike(as shown). You will feel this in your lower abdominal muscles…and they totally work!! repeat 3-4 times for 30-45 seconds.
Knee Ins with gliders (or a towel): Same as above, start in the plank, with both feet on the towel, bed your knees, while keeping your legs together, and pull them in between your hands. 3-4 times for 30-45 seconds will fire up those core muscles!!
Scissor Kicks: These are a great lower ab move for a super strong core! While laying on your back, lift your legs, one at a time in a scissor motion. Those core muscles will start firing! Do these 3-4 times for 30-45 seconds.
Saws on gliders(or a towel): For these, you will need a towel or gliders. And just a warning, these are going to create super strong abs! If you don’t do these correctly, or you have a weak back, you may feel straining in your lower back. While starting in a prone plank position(plank on forearms), with feet on a towel, glide back as far as you can, try to hold for 3-5 seconds, and then come forward. Do these 3-4 times, 10-12 reps…or 30 seconds. They are killer!!
Planks on Ball: For this you will need either a med ball or basketball. This is somewhat of an advanced move that requires some balance. With both hands on the ground, and toes on the ball, hold your plank. Squeeze your abs and glutes. For an extra challenge, try one foot on the ball, or bring a knee into the chest, while the other is on the ball and repeat on the other side. 3-4 times for 30-45 seconds!