Why work my core? Two reasons:
1. Improving your core muscles can help maintain proper alignment of your body, which can help you to be efficient in all exercise that you do. This is especially key for me since the running coach I met with about my knee mentioned that I tend to lean to my left, putting more stress on my left knee.
2. The core muscles, especially the ab muscles have always been a weakness of mine. Since I have started to really improve my leg muscles through knee physical therapy, the core is the area I'd like to work on next.
What is the plan?
I am going to specifically work on core muscles 4 days per week for the month of December (and hopefully beyond). I also want to do pilates more often (famous for working the core) and continue with spinning, which also works the core muscles. I have designed a core work out plan using moves from Angela's Whittle my Middle challenge, and some others I found online :)
1. The Plank
I didn't have to do any research to find this one. Everyone knows it whips your abs into shape and I could not be any more terrible at it. I had to STRUGGLE to get to 30 seconds today.
Goal: 2 minutes by Jan 1.
3. Nose to Knee Crunch
I found this move online this weekend and I am in love with it. It's one of those moves you can just immediately feel. Basically, what you do, is put your arms on a stability ball and lean forward as though you are doing a push up on your ball. Then, you bring one knee at a time to your "nose." Serious exercise in balance...and core muscles.
Goal: 3 sets of 15 (maybe even on each side if I get really strong) by Jan 1.
4. Stability Ball Jack Knives
Anyone who has done "The Shred" will share in my fear for these. I hate jack knives anyway, and add in the stability ball, ah! For this move you are going to put your feet on the stability ball and arms on the ground like you are doing a push up. Then, you use your core to bend your knees and pull the ball closer to your arms. Get ready for the butt shot...
Goal: 3 sets of 15 by Jan 1.
That is where I am going to start for now. Then, hopefully I can build on it with some additional exercises as I get better. The pilates video that I have been doing (Total Body Pilates on Exercise TV) mixes in a lot of butt moves, so I'm hoping that will supplement some of my ab/back moves.
What are your favorite core exercises? Do you make it a priority to work your core? For more information on core muscles and their importance in running, you can see my sister's post on the topic: All About Abs.
Also, check out Amber's blog today because she interviewed me on being a Kindergarten teacher.
Stay tuned to my blog tomorrow for a GIVEAWAY!