Did you know today is national running day? Are you celebrating? No running for this girl… I’m still a little bit sore from the race and going to give my legs a break. I’ll probably power walk in Orangetheory tomorrow and get back on the running train this weekend. If you missed it, check out my race recap from the Suja Rock ’n Roll half. I listed some things in my post that that helped me to PR, but forgot a huge one: the importance of core strength. I had been slacking majorly on core exercises, but since we’ve been here, I’ve been forced to consistently work out my core through barre trainings, BODYPUMP and Orangetheory. I could definitely feel a difference!
While core strength is critical for fitness gains and performance, it’s also a huge component of posture, balance and spinal health. With a strong core, we can stand up a little taller and protect our back in everyday movements. I’ve become a huge fan of standing core work because it engages the stabilizer muscles. Plus, you’re standing (burning more calories) and can really focus on engaging the core since you’re not on your back. I feel the movements differently when I’m standing and it’s easier to determine which muscles I’m working.
Here’s a little standing core workout I put together. It’s intended to be completed circuit-style, moving quickly from one exercise to the next. If you’d like, you can hold a dumbbell or flat weight for many of the exercises to make it even more challenging. (Tip: don’t go too heavy. You want extra resistance, but not to the point where you could injure your back through compensating. It’s more beneficial to complete the exercises correctly and safely sans additional weight than to add resistance and sacrifice proper form.)
Here’s the workout if you’d like to give it a try!
Some form cues:
Squat: an easily forgotten core exercise! Keep your stomach pulled in tightly, and be sure to sit your hips down and back.
Hover reach and knee tuck: you can either stand on one leg, or lightly tap it next to you. Contract your oblique to bend your knee and bring it up before carefully lowering it to hover or lightly touch the floor again.
Squat jumps: keep a tight core and exhale on the way up. If you’d like to keep it low impact, squat and reach towards the ceiling as you come up, and (optional) raise up onto your toes.
Side bends: this is a small movement. Keep your hips stable as you slightly lean from left to right, slowly and with control.
Lunge and kick: perform a regular lunge, and then exhale to bring the back leg up into a kick with a nice flexed foot. Use your core to lift your leg and lower back to a lunge position.
Circle abs: this is another controlled, slow movement. Think about using all of the muscles in your core as you rotate. The circle can be as small or large as you’d like it to be!
Good mornings: make sure to keep your shoulders down and back and a nice neutral spine for this movement. Also, keep your hips in place and avoid swinging them. Hold a flat weight for extra challenge.
This workout would pair nicely with last week’s HIIT scorcher 🙂
Have a happy Wednesday! What’s on the workout plan for today?