31 Days To A Much Improved You – Tip #9 Add These Four Core Exercises




The Bridge is a great core exercise. It helps to strengthen the hamstrings, gluteals, and all of the muscles that support the lower spine and pelvis. This picture shows the end position of the bridge. To start you want to lye flat on the ground, bend your knees to about 90 degrees. Then press through your heels and lift your hips toward the ceiling. The goal is to lift your hips high enough so that there is a straight line through your knees, hips and shoulders. Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat 3 times.








The Plank is a core exercise that is rooted in Yoga. It helps to strengthen all the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis as well as the shoulder. Start by lying flat on the ground. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulder and your feet should be together with your weight on your toes. Lift your hips up so that only your toes and elbows (forearms too) are on the ground. Lift your hips until there is a straight line through your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.  The weight of your body should be directly over your elbows and toes. You should avoid pressing forward on your elbows or backward on your toes. Also avoid “A-framing” (hips too high) or “Sagging” (hips too low). Hold this position for as long as you can. Repeat 3 times.







This is called a pointer because when you perform it you look like a pointer dog. Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Lift your right hand and left knee one inch of the ground. Hole this position while attempting to avoid any movement in the rest of your body. Take 4 seconds to slowly extend both your arm and leg simultaneously. Then take 4 seconds to return them to the start position (with out touching your hand and knee to the ground). Do 8-12 Repetitions on each side.






Boat Pose

Boat Pose 

The Boat Pose is also rooted in Yoga. I typically call this Coccyx Balance, because your coccyx bone is your tailbone. Balance on your tailbone lift your feet so that your shins are parallel to the ground. Your arms should be by your side, also parallel to the ground. Lift your sternum (breast bone), so that your spine is flat. Hold as long as you can. Repeat 3 times.






Add theses four core exercises to your daily routing. Do them everyday. Watch the video below to learn more about how to perform these exercises correctly. I’ll be back tomorrow with Tip #10



Abdominal And Core Training

Abdominal and Core

Abdominal and Core Training have been around since the development of structured exercise programs. Ab exercises are nothing new they’ve been around forever. But the term Core Training has become very popular in the last ten years.

Abdominal and Core training is the foundation to your success. Here’s why…

To help explain the importance of Ab and Core Training it’s important to first understand what your Abs and Core are.


Abs are simple, they are your four Abdominal muscles

  1. Transverse abdominal
  2. Internal Obliques
  3. External Obliques
  4. Rectus Abdominis (six pack muscle)

The Core is open to a bit more interpretation.

The most common interpretation of the Core is to divide it into an inner and outer unit. The inner unit being the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis (this includes the transverse abdominis). It’s accurate to define this as a “unit” because this group of muscles has an single nerve input. Therefore the muscles that make up the inner unit all contract simultaneously to stabilize the spine and pelvis.

The outer unit is the Abdominal muscles that move the spine (listed above).

In General, this definition of the Core is the most widely used and accepted in the fitness industry. And I can almost agree with it. Except the “outer unit” really isn’t a unit the way the inner unit is. The “outer unit” has multiple nerve inputs and we can consciously decide how to move our spine. The different movements that we’re capable of, engage a different combination of muscles (so it’s not really a unit).

Other definitions of the core also include the muscles that stabilize and move both the shoulder complex and hips. The muscles that stabilize and move the spine, pelvis, hip and shoulders make up the majority of our muscles and a huge majority of movement we are capable of.

If you look at the general definition of Core; “The central, innermost, or most essential part of anything“. Then including the hips and shoulders makes absolutely no sense.
So here is my definition.


The Core is made up of the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis. This fits the definition of core, they are the innermost muscles. It is also essential to focus on developing Core strength when beginning a workout routine, as well as maintaining core function throughout your training program and life.

When functioning properly the muscles of the core contract a fraction of a second before your intended movement begins. This contraction is subconscious and serves one purpose. Your Core contracts to stabilize and support your spine and pelvis before movement to protect your spine from injury.

If your Core doesn’t contract prior to movement or if you don’t have adequate strength in your Core muscle, then you are increasing your risk of injury with every movement
When developing your Core and Abs program it’s important to begin with Core exercises. You should first develop adequate core strength then progress to adding abdominal strengthening exercises.

For examples of some Core and Abdominal exercises please visit my “Photo Gallery” page.

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