Reluctantly Embracing the Core

UPDATE: Yesterday during my sessions with my trainer, I hit a personal best!  On the Lat Pull-down I pulled 100# (five times!!).  For my unassisted pull-up I only need to pull 120#!

Testosterone Nation talks about “core” exercises, and includes videos to a number of exercises (most of which I will not be trying).

Now being a woman “of a certain age” I recognize that core strength is one of those preventative moves.  Strong core, less likely I’ll fall and break my hip or rupture a disc or something.  So while I find these things boring as all get out, I do build core exercises into my weekly workout plan.

I thought I’d share, cause today.. I got nothing else:

1. Plank held for up to 3 minutes.  Done in a super set with several of the moves below then repeated for 2-3 sets.

1a. Alternating weekly with: Reverse crunch on ball with drop to push up. Ten to fifteen in a set repeated 2-3 sets

2. Bridge on one foot with the other over moving from just above the knee to just below. This exercise is great for the legs, back and pelvic floor.  I swear if you do this several times a week, you’d never have to kegel again.  Your results may vary, though.

2a. Same bridge with stable foot on an unstable surface. I use a go fit core disc for this.  Eventually that unstable surface will be a medicine ball. (I actually did 5 of these on a medicine ball this week before my hammies threatened to report me to the World Court for torture!)

3. Incline planks.  Held for up to 3 minutes a side.

4. Pray poise on swiss ball.  My feet are braced against a wall, but with healthy toes, your weight is on your toes.  Your wrists are rested on a swiss ball like your in prayer, and you extend the ball out until you support your weight on the feet and the arms.  Hold as long you can.  1-3 minutes.

5. Hip flexor knee ups on a captains chair.  Up to three sets of 12-15 reps.

6. Ball Crunches. Except I do them differently (I originally said this guy does them wrong, but who am I to critique his form?).  Keep your shoulder squeezed together, and focus your eyes on a spot on the ceiling to isolate your abs without hurting your neck.

7. Medicine Ball Rotation Crunches.  Hold the med ball centered on chest with elbows out and shoulders squeezed tight.  Knees bent the body make a /\/ shape.  Now keeping shoulders firm, rotate to left and right.

8. I’d do these incline crunches, but not recline lower than even with the horizon and crunch up higher that this guy does.  Me hates this.

9. Jack knife crunches at the edge of a bench.

10. That oblique move where you lie on the floor, then raise opposite elbow and knee together.

To challenge my balance and stability, I’ll often do about 1/2 my weight training standing on one leg or using a stability ball to add that extra balance and core work to my regime.  Usually it’s a move on the second part of a super set. (one footed: tricep pull-downs, bicep bar curls, standing rows.  Stability ball bench press, military press, etc.).  I do this during a stability/endurance phases of training.

Now unless it seems like I’m a core/crunch maniac, believe me I’m not.  I do most these moves only one time a week.. about 3 each time I work out.  And probably only 2 sets a piece because I bore really easily.  (Count the time for the plank/bridges.  One repeat will get you through 15 minutes!)

I’d definitely LOVE to do some those explosion-like throwing workouts, but how to those in an crowded gym without hurting someone? I’ll save me the lawsuit and pass.

I’m making a list (as much for myself as anyone) of the different upper body and lower body exercises I do.  I may share those, too, sometime when I’ve got nothing and I’m a bit bored.


4 responses to “Reluctantly Embracing the Core

  1. I really should bookmark your list and, you know, do some of the exercises. Or one. Once a year.


    I hate doing core exercises but love their effectiveness when I actually get on the stick and DO them.

  2. ok I giggled at your comment about the explosive moves as that is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ME.

    backyard city or there would be SOME kind of personal injury lawsuit involved.

  3. Good for you……keep it up and please post the list when you have it done. I took your advice and took the night off last night. I actually feel better – tonight is pool night and I think I am going to switch my bodypump night to Mondays so I want be so tired on Thursdays thanks for your help it is greatly appreciated.


  4. Awesome list! I must say, you know the names for these things a lot better than I do (and have more variety). Maybe I need to get myself a trainer, too… :)

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