Core Strengthening Exercises That Work

Woman exercising
The most commonly accepted definition of core stability is: “Comprised of the lumbopelvic hip complex and is the capacity to maintain equilibrium of the vertebral column with its physiologic limits by reducing displacement from perturbations and maintaining structural integrity.” And you thought it had something to do with the middle of a fruit.

Physiotherapists Henry and Florence Kendall first acknowledged core stability when they introduced the idea of the “neutral pelvis” in the 1940’s and 50’s. The idea was that the muscles surrounding the pelvis were responsible for the alignment of the “neutral spine” and that the pelvic tilt was the movement which deviated from the neutral position. In short, core stability involves using abdominal pressure to stabilize the spine which, in turn, can improve muscle and gross motor action.

It looks like old Henry and Flo might have been on to something, because, here we are about 70 years later and it looks like core stability is working for some pretty impressive ( and impressively built) people.

1. Side Plank Variation
Celebrity Pilates trainer claims you can catch Miley Cyrus side planking during her exercise routines. Here’s how:

  1. Lie on the floor. Lean sideways, putting your weight on your right hip, and use your right arm to support your body. Bend your legs slightly and position your left foot a little in front of your right foot.
  2. Using your core, elevate your body upward into a side plank.
  3. Reach your left arm over your head.
  4. Pull your abs in high, lower your hips without letting them touch the floor, lower your left arm and press back into the side plank.
  5. Repeat 6-8 times and then switch sides.

Woman completing a plank push up
2. Plank Push Ups
Celebrity trainer Teddy Bass used this one to help Christina Applegate get her post baby body back in shape.

  1. Get into plank position. Put your weight on your toes and forearms. Your body should form a straight line.
  2. Push off your forearms, lift your right hand and position it under the right shoulder on the mat.
  3. Pick up your left hand and place it beneath your left shoulder. You should find yourself in push-up position.
  4. Drop to your right forearm, then drop to your left forearm. You should now find yourself back in plank position. Continue in a push-up pattern going up on the right, up on the left, down on the right, down on the left for five repetitions total.
  5. Rest and begin again, starting with the left arm.

3.V-Sit Twist
Pro Derek Degrazio had Britney (Spears) working out with this one. BTW, you’ll need a 6-10 pound medicine ball for this one, if you don’t have one, a dumbbell or gallon of water will do.

  1. Sit bending your knees. Your feet should be flat and your arms should be by your sides.
  2. Keeping knees bent, lift your feet until your shins are almost parallel to the floor. Lean back at a 45 degree angle so your thighs and torso form a V shape.
  3. Bring the 6-10 lb medicine ball, or object of choice, to your chest, keeping your elbows out.
  4. Move your upper body to the right. Your left elbow will be above your right hip. Then move to the left in the same manner.
  5. Do three sets of thirty.

4.Three Legged Dog
Fitness and yoga instructor Mandy Ingber has client Jennifer Anniston swearing by this one.

  1. Begin as if you were going to do push ups. Raise your right heel to the height of your shoulder and no higher.
  2. Bring your right knee to your head, Round your spine, inhale, and bring your leg back to starting position.
  3. Exhale, bringing your right knee alongside your right tricep. Extend leg and inhale.
  4. Exhale, cross in your right knee to for left elbow. Inhale as you stretch out your leg. Do this three times and then repeat switching legs.

If you are still upright, we would love to hear about your core experiences. How did you measure up to the celebs? Please comment and let us know all about it!

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One response to “Core Strengthening Exercises That Work

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