Many people talk about core stability and how a healthy core means a healthy body. But how hard is it to find time to go to the gym in your busy routine? The following article outlines some key exercises which can help you to develop a stronger core in the comfort of your own home. So when you can’t make it to the gym, at least you can still work on strengthening your core which will hopefully help you to improve your overall posture. The Plank – the main area this exercise will help to strengthen are your central abdominals (rectus abdominis) aka six pack! You can do this exercise with varying difficulty depending on your ability. If you’re feeling slightly weaker than usual this exercise can be carried out on your knees, and if you’re feeling super strong then you can add a slight rocking motion into the mix! To form a plank you would lay face down on the floor with your body in a straight position, rest on your forearms so that your elbows touch the floor, you would support this position either with your knees and lower legs on the floor (if you’re feeling weak), or with your toes, either way your feet should remain together. You would hold this position for 1 minute, repeating up to 3 times. Whilst you’re in the plank position, for this to be effective you must concentrate on drawing your stomach in, not forgetting to breathe, and making sure that your body remains in a straight line. If you find it too easy then add a rocking motion or slow side step alternating legs and using your toes to support you. The Bridge – this is a great exercise for both your abdominals (stomach) and your gluts (bum), by strengthening your abdominals you will help to support body and protect it from back pain. This can also be performed in reps of 3 and help for a minute each time, at any point during your day! To perform this exercise all you have to do is lie down with your back against the floor, bring your knees up into a 90 degree angle so that they are bent with your feet firmly on the floor, your arms should be beside you flat on the floor. Next you need to squeeze your gluts (bum) and push your hips upwards towards the ceiling so that there is a straight line from your knees through to your upper body, with your feet, shoulders and arms still firmly on the floor. Here you should focus on keep your gluts squeezed tightly which will help to support your lower back during the exercise, and also focus on drawing your stomach in tightly – and don’t forget to breathe! The Superman – This appropriately titled exercise will also help you to strengthen your core stability, allowing you to engage your abs and encourage balance. All you have to do is kneel on the floor and place your hands below your shoulders and your knees need to be positioned below your hips. Next you need to extend right leg back and bring your left arm forward – reaching outwards and extending your body like superman! During this exercise you need to ensure that you maintain a straight body line through your extended leg, body and extended arm. Once you have held for 1 minute then you can repeat with your opposite limbs. This can be repeated in reps of 3, making sure that you repeat for both sides. If you do have time to go to the gym, then we recommend Pilates and TRX for improving core stability too! If you’re experiencing any pain then we do recommend that you get checked out by a professional first, as exercise may worsen your condition.
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