When someone refers to your “core”, people immediately think of the abdominal muscles. But, your core is so much more! Essentially it is the complex group of muscles in your entire torso…your abdomen, pelvis, spine, back, shoulders and gluteus. All of these muscles work together to help you stand, walk, sit, turn, run and lift. So it is vital, to keep these muscles healthy and strong. Here are three quick exercises you can do daily to strengthen your core.
#1: Dolphin Plank Pose
– Shoulders stack over your elbows creating a 90-degree angle in your arms.
– Elbows are shoulder width apart.
– Hands can be flat on your mat or together.
– Shoulders roll down your back.
– Navel pulls up toward your spine.
– Tailbone lengthens towards your heels.
– Quadriceps, or the front of your thighs, pull up.
– Try to keep your body in a straight line from head to heel…no butts up in the air and no sagging!
– Stay here for 15 seconds, eventually working up to a minute or more!
– Repeat 3-5 times, taking a child’s pose between each set.
– Drop onto your knees while keeping the plank shape.
#2: Boat Twists
- Keep your spine lengthened.
- Try to keep your shins parallel to your mat.
- Move slowly…tapping the block on one side, pausing at the center, then tapping the block on the other side.
- Try to repeat this three times…increasing the repetitions as you get stronger.
- Do not use a block.
- Keep your feet flat on your mat.
#3: Knee Planks
- Start off in Downward Facing Dog and lift the right leg (Three-Legged Dog). Moving on an exhale…shift forward and bring your right knee to the right tricep. Inhale, go back to Three-Legged Dog. Exhale, shift forward and try to kiss your knee. Inhale, go back to Three-Legged Dog. Exhale, shift forward and bring your right knee to the left tricep. Inhale, go back to Three-Legged Dog. Repeat using the left leg.
- Move slowly with your breath.
- Round the upper back and lift the hips slightly.
- Try to keep the knees tight into your body.
- Pull your navel up towards your spine as you crunch.
- Start off by doing a full round of these. You can add on repetitions as you get stronger. You can also add these movements into your yoga practice.
- Your knees DO NOT have to touch your arms/face.
- You can also do this from Table Top position or all-fours.