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Core Strengthening Exercises

The concept of "core strength" has come into popularity recently and it is important to understand the actual function of the “core”.  Core strength is not pure abdominal strength from thousands of crunches.  True core strength involves the entire spine and pelvis, the shoulder joints, the hip joints and muscles of the abdomen and trunk.  These sections of your body work in unison for balance, postural stability and maintaining control should you fall, slide or hit the ground.  Being able to activate these body parts will help prevent injury and allow you to fend off an opponent.

The exercises demonstrated show closed chain stability exercises involving all core components in a horizontal or side lying position.  Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions or hold for 3 sets of 30 seconds 2 to 3 times a week.  Take your time to complete these exercises with good form, coordination and muscle activation.  Progress from easy to difficult and pick two exercises of each forward, side and reverse planks.  It is important to work all sides of your trunk and abdomen for muscle balance.

The progression for the core strengthening exercise video is listed below:

  • Forward plank with your elbows on the ground.  Hands are relaxed
  • Forward plank elbow, elbow, hand, hand alternating up and down
  • Forward plank alternating hand lifts
  • Forward plank alternating leg lifts
  • Forward plank alternating hand and leg lifts, left leg and right hand, right leg and left leg
  • Side plank with knees bent and hip drop and lift
  • Side plank with feet unstacked and hip drop and lift
  • Side plank with feet stacked and hip drop and lift
  • Side plank with top foot in the air and hip drop and lift
  • Reverse plank with feet on the ground and hip lift
  • Reverse plank with legs extended and hip lift
  • Reverse plank with one leg extended, one leg lift and hip lift
  • Parallel to perpendicular, forward plank to side plank 

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