Today’s workout is going to be entirely core oriented. One thing that I want to focus on today is explaining the planes of motion incorporated with core exercises. Your core is responsible for four movements of the spine. However the biggest responsibility is to stabalize/resist movement of the spine, this is the best way to safely train the core also. Back pain is largely associated with a weak core. Over 60% of cases of back pain result from this weakness.
Four movement patterns:
- Spinal flexion bending the lumbo-pelvic hip complex forward, reducing the angle created between the thorax and the thigh/hips. Examples: crunch, sit-up, or touching toes.
- Spinal extension- bending the spine “backwards” resulting in the lumbo-pelvic hip complex angle increasing. Examples: reverse hyper-extension, swimmer/superman drill, and floor cobra.
- Lateral flexion- flexing the spine to one side or the other. Examples: “Oblique” exercises, ankle grabbers, and side bends.
- Core rotation- turning the shoulders in an opposing direction of the hips. Examples: opposite toe touch, russian twist, and bicycle kicks/crunch.
With core exercises there are a few common myths; Sit-ups will get you abs, I can only get abs from a no carb diet or greatly reducing my caloric intake, I can NEVER obtain the stomach that I want, “My GENETICS are horrible”.
Now to bust the myths:
- Sit-ups will NOT get you abs. A clean diet, a core resistance routine, cardio, and consistency ARE the keys to obtaining abs… Everyone has abs, it’s just what they hide under (Belly/body fat). Reduce your body fat and your abs will show.
- Greatly reducing your caloric intake will do the exact opposite for your dream body, the same with eating no carbs. These two misconceptions will result in slowing your metabolism. Instead consume meals that are well-balanced consisting of a complete protein, greens, and a slow burning (complex carb). Eat frequently as in every 2-3 hours. DO NOT SKIP MEALS!!! Eating something is better than nothing. Just monitor the calories consumed. Skipping meals will result in over eating at your next meal. Refer to the Food->Basic Nutrition tabs above for more detail.
- Although genetics to play a major part in our body composition, it is not the only factor that controls how you look. Your continuous habits, over eating, under nourished, physical laziness and or age is keeping you from having the body you desire. Remember though, age is not as much of a factor as you think either.
With the above stated we are now ready to workout with knowledge and understanding.
a) Floor plank- 2-3 reps until fatigue.
b) Side plank- 2-3 reps each side until fatigue.
c) Anti-rotation cable hold – 8-12 reps/6-30 second hold. Stand with shoulders parallel to cable and extend arms straight out for given time.
d) Super-man – 12-15 reps/ 2 second hold. Lay facing the ground with arms above head and knees straight. While keeping elbows and knees straight lift hands and feet off the ground. That is one rep.
Perform exercises a,b,c, and d then, repeat for 2-3 sets. Add exercises as needed. The above is an example of how to incorperate each movement pattern the core is responsible for. If need be add as many exercises as you need, but keep the balance.