These core exercises are perfect for building strong local stabilizer muscles. String them together and you’ve got a challenging, but fun slow flow workout.
5 MOVE FRIDAY: CORE EXERCISES TO BUILD LOCAL STABILIZER MUSCLES
Ya’ll, Friday’s are just the best. It’s been a long week, so I’m looking forward to a ‘day off’. Today’s workout is a bit different than what I normally share. To be completely honest, I haven’t been working out much over the past few weeks. I do my classes and then either walk or do yoga. I’ve tossed in a quick HIIT session and some kettlebell work, but I’ve just been focused on stretching and core strength. Although, I did run 3 miles yesterday and it felt SO great (my calves are screaming today!).
One move I started incorporating is the push up – superman plank – side plank. One – I want to be a boss at push-ups. If you want to be good at push-ups, you gotta do push-ups, right? Two, holy core stabilizing muscles in the superman plank. And, three, I’ll openly admit that side plank is one of my least favorite moves, mostly because I’m not very good at it. SO, why not combine these moves into one crazy core flow.
I touched on this way back when, but did you know that our core is NOT just that ‘six pack’ muscle. There are 3 systems or groupings of our core musculature.
- LOCAL STABILIZATION MUSCULATURE: These muscles are directly attached to vertebrae. Primarily slow twitch muscles, they are responsible for stability, supporting the vertebrae and aid in balance and control. These muscles include: Transverse Abdominus, Internal Obliques, Lumbar Multifidus, Pelvic Floor Muscles and the Diaphragm.
- GLOBAL STABILIZATION MUSCULATURE: These muscles attach from the pelvis to the spine. They transfer load between the upper and lower extremity, provide stability between the pelvis and spine and provide stabilization to the core during functional movements. These muscles include: Quadratus Lumborum (Harry Potter, anyone?) Psoas major, External obliques, portions of internal obliques, Rectus abdominus (6 pack muscles), Gluteus medius (hello, BUTT!) and the adductor complex (inner thighs).
- MOVEMENT SYSTEM MUSCULATURE: These muscles attach the spine and/or pelvis to the extremities. They are responsible for producing / reducing force during dynamic activities and provide stabilization in all planes of movement. These muscles include: Latissimus dorsi, hip flexors, hamstring complex and quads.
Whew, lot’s of muscles, right? Your trunk is essentially your core, not just that six pack muscles. It’s really easy to do crunches and sit-ups and other core exercises that work our GLOBAL or MOVEMENT musculature, but working those deep core muscles is not always the easiest. And even when we do planks, a great exercise for working deep core, it’s easy to perform the move without actively engaging all muscles, which won’t give you the best bang for your buck when it comes to the move.
These core exercises target the local stabilization muscles. It’s a tough workout. You’ll see in the video that I’m a little wobbly with some of the moves. And you know what, that’s okay. We all start somewhere. Just keep working at it. All that to say, I’ll offer some mods below, if you are finding you might be a bit too wobbly.Strength deep core muscles with this brand new slow flow workout! @fitapproach #sweatpink Click To Tweet
Complete each core exercise based on RX reps, resting when needed. Complete circuit 2 – 3 times total.
See moves description for modifications.
- PUSH-UP to SUPERMAN PLANK to SIDE PLANK: Assume hand plank position (wrists under shoulders, fingers spread wide – gripping mat, heels shooting to the back of the room, core tight, pelvis slightly tucked). Perform a push-up. At the top of the push-up, perform a superman plank. Press down through ball of LEFT foot and into the RIGHT hand, while lifting the left arm and right leg. Hold a few seconds, then return to start. Roll to the left and assume side plank on the left side. Again, pressing down through left hand (fingers wide) with hips lifted.
Mods: Perform all moves on elevated surface (box or step). Move just arm or just leg out in superman plank, instead of both. Place left knee on ground when in side plank on left side (same with right).
- BEAR TUCK PLANK to BIRD DOG: Assume tabletop position (wrists under shoulders, fingers spread wide – gripping mat, knees under hips). Curl toes under and lift knees slightly. Keeping back FLAT and BUTT DOWN, move one leg out, then the other into plank position. Hold a few seconds and then move back into bear tuck. Press down through ball of LEFT foot and into the RIGHT hand, while lifting the left arm and right leg. Hold a few seconds, then return to start. Perform bear tuck plank again.
Mods: Rather than lift knees, keep knees on ground, move back into plank position and then back to tabletop. Keep knees on ground while doing bird-dog. Other option is to put out one arm or one leg at a time, rather than both.
Reps equal total between BOTH sides of the body.
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So, my legs are SO bloody sore. Between the workouts I did this week (2 10 min. quickies), the sliders (plates) I used in all 3 classes so far this week and my unplanned 3 mile run, my hammies and calves are just screaming. Luckily, I have no meetings planned or reason to leave the house, so I’m planning on laying low, getting ahead on some bootcamp videos and blog graphics/workouts today and over the weekend. We are supposed to get the 60’s on Saturday, so it’s ALL the blog workout photos AND videos!
What are some of your favorite core workouts?
What are your plans this weekend?