Breaking Down the Core Part III

How do I train my core? What movements should I avoid when training? How often should I train it?

When it comes to training your core, you should think of yourself training your core all throughout your day. You don’t need to go to the gym in order to work on and activate your core. Think about it … what is one of the main reasons we even go to the gym? Look past the looking good in a swimsuit, & see that we train our bodies in order to get through life/work. Where do you use that squat you love so much the most? In your regular day life, whether its bending over to pick up a child, laundry or something you dropped on the floor. We train to move well & w/o pain.

The two movements you have avoid are flexion & twisting, your discs two most hated movements especially when combined! However, where do we always see twisting & flexion based exercises? Your ab workout. So let’s do something crazy - let’s remove those movements ENTIRELY from your core workouts. Let’s replace them with safe ways to train those abs in the front & sides.

When it comes to training your core as a whole, I always begin with planks. If you are new to core training or are post-partum, begin in table top w/ wrists directly under shoulders & knees directly under hips. Place a pillow under your shins, place your body parallel to the floor w/ neutral neck, eyes looking down. Press both of your shins into the pillow for about 5-10 secs. When you press into the pillow notice how your low abs kick in, connecting your lower core to your upper core. This is what your core should feel like throughout your movements - engaged.

When you’re ready to level-up, try working on front & side planks on your knees, then eventually on your feet. When you’re planking you must have impeccable form, otherwise you could just be contributing to your issues. Another way to train your side core deeply is with a pallof press. You can use a resistance band or cable weight during these movements. Feet shoulder width apart, athletic stance w/ core engagement & shoulder blades locked down. Resist the urge to twist towards the weight & feel the burn along the entire side of your body. Move slow & w/ control!

Don't forget to check out Dr. Lundahl on Instagram @myomedicaldc for further instructions and tips on how to stay safe while training!

 Table Top Position aka Quadruped

Table Top Position aka Quadruped

 Side Plank on Knees: Elbow directly under shoulder, neck is relaxed and neutral, eyes looking fwd.

Side Plank on Knees: Elbow directly under shoulder, neck is relaxed and neutral, eyes looking fwd.

 Front Forearm Plank: Squeeze glutes, engage shoulders - no dip between shoulder blades. 

Front Forearm Plank: Squeeze glutes, engage shoulders - no dip between shoulder blades.