The Powerhouse of Movement: Strengthening the Core

Posted on January 15, 2013 by


Power Your Body With A Strong and Stable Core!

Power Your Body With A Strong and Stable Core!

The muscles of the core act to stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and consist of far more muscles than just the abs. The abs have very limited and specific actions while the core allows for all motion to take place by joining the upper body to the lower body and also the front side to the back side. We utilize our core musculature in just about every movement we make. And also, no movement at all; the core muscles make it possible to stand upright.

Arms and legs stem from the core and can be moved powerfully and under control with a strong and stable core. When these muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle to create a solid base of support while supporting healthy spinal alignment.

To maintain that alignment, check in with yourself throughout the day – do a quick body scan to bring awareness to your alignment and posture. Be consistent with core exercises each week. Unbalanced and weak core muscles are linked to low back pain.

This month: Select your level of fitness and incorporate these strength and stability exercises into your weekly routine.

Tuck your belly button into your spine, pull back your shoulders and tuck down into back pockets, head is centered over the spine,not forward :

Be sure to use a spotter while learning these stability exercises with a Bosu and Stability Ball.

Bosu Ball

Bosu Ball

Stability Ball

Stability Ball

Core Stability:  3-4 sets of 12-15 reps

Beginner: Sit on a Stability ball with knees directly above your ankles, while doing bicep curls, overhead dumbbell press and tricep extensions.
Intermediate: Stand on a bosu ball while doing bicep curls, overhead press and tricep extensions. I prefer to stand on the hard surface but both sides will do the trick.
Advanced: Push-ups off of the flat side of a bosu ball, hands flat on the surface, weight evenly distributed between 4 corners of palm, hand directly under your shoulders. Squats on the flat side of the bosu, be aware of your form advanced lifters, be sure knees to not tilt inward do these without weight until you gain balance – now add weight. Sit on the ball side, lift the legs into a V pose and twist a medicine ball from left to right and back right to left while feet are off of the ground.

Core Strengthening Exercises:

Beginner-Advanced: Inchworm 4-6 sets of 8 reps
Beginner walk your hand out and hold in plank for 3 seconds.  Advance into a push up rather than hold in plank position

Advanced: My favorite Exercise! The Turkish Get up

Do this barefoot or barefoot shoes so your core stabilizes, not your shoes!
DIRECTIONS: (for the right side, no weight) By Sheri Lynn and David Cohen
This move is wonderful without any weight at all to build core, balance, stamina.
When you’re ready to add weight, try a dumbbell, a kettlebell or hug a sandbag. WARNING: this move is complicated and will not require much weight to kick your booty! So go light and build up. Keep your eyes up on the raised arm the whole time.
Watch the video closely to figure this move out – and remember to switch sides. WHEN YOU SWITCH SIDES you will feel confused – it’s part of the protocol – so expect that and work with it. I suggest alternating every rep. Start with 2 reps, alternating on each side, and building up to 5 to 10. You can get a full body workout done in a half an hour with the TGU. Make sure you warm up real good before you start…

1. Lying on the ground, bend your right knee and make sure your right foot is planted steady. Raise your right arm with hand in a fist and lock out the elbow. Keep your eyes on your fist.

2. Pushing off your right foot, roll onto your left hip and up onto your left elbow.

3. Push up onto your left hand.

4. Holding yourself up on your left hand and right foot, bring yourself up off the ground, and thread your left leg back into a kneeling position. You are now with your left knee on the floor, right foot on the floor, and arm locked out overhead with your eyes on your fist. Keep your core tight and watch your back alignment!

5. From this kneeling position, take a deep breath, tighten that core, lock that arm (keeping the wrists straight!), and lunge forward into a standing position.

6. Do the entire thing in reverse to come back down. You are not done with the move until you are prone back on the ground!

Take your time. Make sure you have plenty of room. Don’t overdo the weight – even 5 lbs is going to feel heavy the first few times you do the TGU. DO THIS BAREFOOT OR IN BAREFOOT SHOES – otherwise the soles of the shoe will throw you off balance – you want your CORE working for you, not your shoes!

Rock On Fitness Friends,

Katie Surjan

Certified Genesis Transformation Coach/Personal Trainer