Are you wanting to do something other than CRUNCHES after your daily run/swim/bike that you can do 3 times a week to strengthen your core and help your overall performance? Here are 4 core moves that can add both a new dimension to your post-workout routine and some excitement to your cool down. Check these out...
1. Side Plank with Single Leg Lift:
How to do it: Lay on the floor, supporting yourself up with one elbow. Lift yourself up in a push up position, where your body is completely off the floor except for your elbow and side of your foot. Your hips should be in line with your shoulders. You want to stabilize yourself in this position and then lift your top leg up about 5 inches, keeping your core as still and strong as possible. Hold the leg up for a count of five seconds, then drop it for a second, and then repeat. Do a total of 10 reps, each side. Perform 2 sets total.
2. Kneeling Superman with Opposite Arm/Leg Lift:
How to do it: Get on the ground, supporting yourself on your hands and knees. You want to keep your head staring at the ground, keeping your core tight, while lifting your opposite arm and leg completely so that they are parallel to the ground. You want to hold your arm and its opposite up, squeezing your core and booty tight, for 3 seconds each and then switch. Perform 12 reps each and keep your head neutral.
3 . Reverse Crunch with Twist/Add Crunch:
How to do it: You want to lay on the ground, and put your knees up so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle to the ground. Ideally, you want to lay flat on a bench so that you can grab onto the bench behind your head. But, if you are on the ground, you can hold onto something bolted to the ground that is directly on each side of your head. You want to lift your hips up off the ground, pulling with your abs and then add a twist at the top. Then, lower your knees back to the neutral starting position. Once back at neutral, you want to put your hands behind your head and add a crunch. Then, hold on again, reverse crunch with the twist to the other side, and then crunch. Repeat 10 times each side. Perform 1-2 sets total.
4. Standing Single-Leg Cobra:
How to do it: You want to stand and bend at the hips. Extend your arms behind you, thumbs up. Then, raise one leg behind you as high as you can, while slightly bending the knee of your supporting leg, and keep your core tight. Make sure you don't support your pelvis and keep your head neutral to the ground. You want to statically hold your leg behind you for a total of 30 seconds and then switch sides. Make sure that you are keeping your arms up and thumbs back, squeezing your shoulder blades back together. Repeat 2 times each side.
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