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Core basics

To perform an exercise to work only the abs you must keep your lower back curved creating a C shape in the back. To do this you should tilt your hips under and forward (see strengthening retired core exercises 2 - standing hip rotation).


Imagine the front of your hips is trying to touch the lower part of your ribs.

If at any point during your workout your lower back lifts and your struggling to keep it down, then stop the exercise and re-adjust yourself!

However if your back doesn’t stay down at all try exercises 9 in strengthening retired core - ankle on to knee crunch. This exercise I teach to my clients at all ages especially for my beginners, it will help to strengthen the lower stomach muscles.


Here are my top 10 full core (front sides and back) exercises (Please pick the exercises you are comfortable with. If you are finding these exercises too easy then please have a look at Core Intermediate)


Perform 10-15 reps of each exercises 2 or 3 times a day 3- 5 times a week for at least 3 months to feel the benefits. You may feel muscle soreness also know as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) set in 24-48 hours after the workout and can last up to a week, the more you work out the less pain you will feel. Once you are able to complete 15 reps without difficulty try one of the exercises with ***. These exercises are slightly more challenging. For the best results change the exercises after a month to continue with the muscle strengthening.

There are also video demonstration with audio for each exercise.

1. Single bent leg lower - Laying on your back with your hands by your sides, knees bent towards your stomach and feet off the floor. Straighten a leg out towards the floor, keeping the lower back down, by rolling the pelvis forward. Bend the knee back to join the other leg and repeat on the other side. If you find it easier to keep the lower back down lift your shoulders and head off the floor keeping your chin off your chest while performing this exercise. If you are still struggling lift your leg higher away from the floor.


2. Bent leg lowers ***This exercises is a harder variation to single bent leg lowers***- Laying on your back with your hands by your sides, knees bent towards your stomach and feet off the floor. Straighten both legs out towards the floor, keeping the lower back on the floor by rolling your pelvis forward (This exercise should only be performed once your able to complete single bent leg lowers while keeping the back down) If you find it easier lift your shoulders and head off the floor keeping your chin off your chest while performing this exercise or lift your leg higher away from the floor.



3. Dead bug hold - Laying on your back with bent knees, feet off the floor and hands straight by your legs. Lift your shoulders and head off the floor keeping your chin off your chest. move your knees away from your stomach until the point where you feel as if your lower back may come off the floor. Hold the exercise in this position.



4. Crunchies feet raised - Laying on your back with bent knees, feet off the floor and hands by your ears. keeping your chin off your chest and lifting from your sternum (the bone in the middle of your chest) raise your head and shoulders off the floor as high as you can then return back to the starting position.



5. Side plank bent legs lifts - Starting on your side standing on you elbow slightly away from you. bend both your legs behind you keeping in line from your knees to your head. The hand which is off the floor place onto your side. Raise your hip off the floor by pushing your elbow and knee towards the floor then return to the starting position



6. Side plank bent legs hold ***This exercises is a harder variation to side plank bent knee lifts*** - Starting on your side, standing on you elbow slightly away from you. bend both your legs behind you keeping in line from your knees to your head. The hand which is off the floor place onto your side. Raise your hip off the floor by pushing your elbow and knee towards the floor and hold this position.



7. Back raises hands behind your back - Laying on your front hands on your bottom and feet together. Raise your chest off the floor while reaching your hands down the back of your legs, return back to the starting position


8. Back raise hands by ears ***This exercises is a harder variation to back raises hands behind your back*** - Laying on your front hands by your ears and feet together. Raise your chest off the floor and keep your elbows out.



9. Plank hold on knees and elbows - Standing on your forearms and lower legs. Rotate your hips forward to engage the lower stomach muscles. Keep your shoulders in line with your elbows and hips and hold this position.



10. Plank hold on feet and elbows***This exercises is a harder variation to plank on knees and elbows*** - Standing on your forearms and feet. Rotate your hips forward to engage the lower stomach muscles. Keep your shoulders in line with your elbows and hips and hold this position.



Next week I will be posting Core intermediate where you will be learning how to make your workout more challenging.

Followed by Core Advance out on October 9th.


See you next week

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