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Basic core exercises for everyone

Here are a list of exercises that can be used as a beginner level core program, numbers will vary depending individual and goals but 10-15 (per side for single arm/leg exercises) is a good start for most people.

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Plank/bridge hold: used to test and build inner unit core abdominal strength. Begin lying flat on stomach, elbows directly under shoulders feet together. Tense abdominal muscles from within and lift body so mid-section is suspended in the air with forearms and toes being the only contact with ground. Time and repeat 2-3 times per day, looking to increase time as you progress. Notes: watch for body movement, forearms and toes are not allowed to shuffle, up/down movement of the body is not allowed either. body must be completely straight. If lower back pain is experienced, stop and if persists on further attempts begin Exercise off knees.

Opposing arm + leg extensions: begin on hands and knees with hands directly below shoulders and knees directly below hips. back must be completely straight with inner unit abdominal muscles tensed. Slowly raise one arm with opposite side leg till a balance point is reached, pause then slowly release and repeat on other side. start. Notes: the height of the leg will determine the balance point so if balance is a bit off lower the leg height and the arm will match, a light tension in the lower back and abdominal region should occur.

Lower back raises: Begin lying flat on stomach with hands directly beside body palms face down. Tense inner unit abdominal muscles and slowly raise head and chest off the ground until a slight tension through the lower back is reached, lower back down and repeat. Notes: simple progressions include moving hands underneath chin or to the side of the head.

Side plank/bridge hold: Exercise is much the same as a standard bridge hold except begin lying on side with single elbow directly below shoulder. Tensing inner unit abdominal muscles and lifting and holding till fatigued. Repeat other side. Notes: Using directly after normal bridge hold will be challenging but allow you to repeat 3 in simultaneous motion.

Ab crunch: standard used sit up, but technique must be noted. Begin in normal sit up position lying back on floor knees bent. Place hands on thighs and slide them up your thighs until your wrists reach your knees then back down. Notes: For good form hands must not leave the thighs at any time during the motion to prevent swinging.

Reverse crunch: begin lying flat on back with knees in mid-air at 90 deg. Slowly lower/extend your legs together until your back arches, if your back does not arch during Exercise stop just before feet reach ground. Once this point is reached slowly raise your legs back tucking your knees towards your chest. Notes: If this Exercise is difficult or painful extend your legs upwards instead of toward the ground.

Russian twists: begin lying flat on back with knees in mid-air at 90 deg and arms straight out to the side. Slowly lower both knees to side until the ground is reached or opposite side shoulder/elbow begins to lift. Pause and return to the middle. Repeat on other side.

Authored By Trevor Maggs

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Core exercise, core, abs, toning,
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