Best exercises for strengthening your core muscles
Jane Gibson shares her tips for strengthening your core.
1. Sit against a wall and try to make the outside surface of your shoulders touch the wall. Hold for up to 20 seconds then relax. Repeat this up to 10 times to engage your back muscles and remind yourself of correct posture.
2. Do lots of rowing actions and shoulder retractions, which help to strengthen and tone your arms and back. Thera-band/resistance bands can help here. They come in a variety of strengths and are available from pharmacies, physiotherapy clinics and Kmart. In a tall, seated position, using your foot as the anchor point, hold each end of the band with your hands. There are two variations of this exercise:
◼️ The first one targets the lower fibres of the shoulder blades and the latissimus dorsi muscles (which wrap around the sides of the body). Draw your elbows past your body, squeezing the bottom of your shoulder blades together. Keep your thumbs on top and the tops of your arms close to your body.
◼️ The second targets the upper fibres of the shoulder blades and shoulders. It’s the same movement, but instead rotate your hands so your knuckles face upwards, and when drawing your elbows back, lift them so they’re in line with your shoulders. Be sure to relax your neck muscles when doing this option.
3. For more core exercises, lie on your back and get into a table top position. Lift your feet off the ground, hold your knees above your hips and keep your feet in line with your knees and your shin bones in line with the floor. Slowly drop one foot to the ground, lightly making contact with the floor and return it in line with the other leg. Repeat on the other side. Be sure to keep your lower back flat on the ground as your legs move. Once you build strength you can lower both legs at the same time.
|Jane Gibson is mum to three boys and the co-founder/director of Reform Fitness and Dynamic Reformer Pilate Studios in Mount Maunganui, Parnell and Newmarket. Find her at reformfitness.co.nz.|
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 48 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW