Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Free Workout Friday: Core Strength

Free Workout FridayDon’t forget about the core muscles! The core helps to protect organs and keeps the torso strong enough to connect the upper body with the lower body. A strong core helps with balance and stability in everyday activities. Core strength also helps with all activities and sports. It’s very important for athletes to have strong core muscles. Strengthening the core muscles can help to relieve lower back pain/problems and increase good posture.  Just like every other muscle group, our bodies need a good core workout on a regular basis. It doesn’t take long; you can get a full core workout in 15-20 minutes or less. I work at a corporate fitness center and teach multiple core classes a week. Try my workout below and let me know what you think! Form is very important, so view the video clip prior to starting for helpful tips.

  • On back, hands underneath you supporting the lower back, legs straight in the air, feet together, lower legs pushing the lower back into the mat. Use the stomach muscles to lift the legs back up. Perform the exercise slow and controlled. 15 leg raises, then hold the legs just off the floor and hold for 15 seconds. Next, 6 little circles one direction keeping feet together. 6 circles the other direction, then finish with a 15 second hold again.
  • Flip over to a center plank for 1 minute  – on elbows & toes, shoulders above elbows, weight pushed back towards feet, keep hips low, body in a straight line, abs pulled in tight without holding breath.
    • Modification can be done on knees instead of toes.
    • Turn to a side plank for 1 minute – shoulders above each other, bottom hip up off the mat, feet on top of each other, abs in tight without holding breath.
      • Modification can be done with bottom knee on the mat, still keeping bottom hip up high.
      • Flip over to the other side for 1 minute – form is important so see details above or video clip!
      • Back to a center plank (see video below) – lift one leg for 10 seconds, switch legs.
      • Lift one leg out to the side (see video below) for 10 seconds, switch legs.
      • Hold a perfect center plank for 30 seconds.
      • Back to a side plank, but this time lift the top leg up for 15 seconds, then one leg lift to one truck rotation (see video below) for 45 seconds.
      • Switch sides and repeat.
      • Back to a center plank hold for 30 seconds.
      • Relax on mat (on your stomach) for a few lower body exercises.
      • One arm up, other down by side on the mat, use the lower back to lift the chest up & down off the mat. 15 reps. Switch arms and repeat 15 reps.
        • Keep neck and shoulders relaxed, exhale when you lift, slow & controlled, always pause at the top to squeeze the lower back muscles. See video for a form check!
        • Both arms and legs up & down. 10 reps, then hold for 10 seconds.
        • Opposite arm & leg, lift and pause, then switch to the other arm & leg. 30 seconds.
        • One arm out to side, other arm down by side on the mat, lift and rotate towards the arm that is straight out. See video. 10 reps then switch arms & sides and repeat 10 reps.
        • Back up to a center plank hold for 30 seconds.
        • Flip over to your back for bicycles (see video for form and modification) for 30 seconds.
        • Not tired yet? Repeat the workout.

Not ready for this long of a core workout yet? It’s ok, start with a couple exercises and work your way up to completing it all.  If you like the FREE WORKOUT FRIDAY, subscribe to our blog!

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Topics: exercise nifs fitness management employee wellness Free Workout Friday fitness