When most of us think about core muscles we think about ìabsî, those bulging stones on the stomach of bodybuilders. Although these abdominal muscles are an important aspect of core strength, they are only one part of a complex chain of muscles that make up our core. Our core muscles are an intricate web that supports our spine in a variety of different directions and ways. Emphasizing abdominal strength without the recruitment of other core muscles can actually encourage spinal instability and injury. By focusing on just one area of our core we may be leaving ourselves vulnerable. With that in mind, it might be a good idea to skip the thousand crunches and utilize a variety of different core exercises. Planks offer a great alternative to crunches because they utilize the core musculature and force these muscles to work together as they were intended. The following offers alternatives to more traditional abdominal exercises.
- Stir the pot ( start with forearms on stability ball under chest with toes on the floor, make circles with ball)
- Ball roll outs ( start from your knees with fist on stability ball, roll out to your elbows and then back up, make sure to keep hips forward)
- 1 Arm front plank ( start from knees and forearms on the floor, cross one hand over to hold other bicep keeping elbow off floor, hold for 30 seconds)
- Side plank twist with ball (start in a side plank position with top leg on stability ball, plank up and turn shoulders into front plank position then return to start.)
- Supine Bridge (lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Lift your pelvis by firing your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for 30 seconds)
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BS, ACE-CPT, Personal Trainer
Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer through (ACE) the American Council on Exercise. In 2010 he received a Bachelorís degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, majoring in Kinesiology with a concentration in Fitness Leadership. He spent his senior year working with individuals suffering from chronic back pain and studied the effects of strength training on Parkinsonís disease for his capstone project.Before joining the Empower team, Chris gained extensive practical knowledge prescribing exercise to adults over 50 in the UNCG HOPE (Helping Older Participants Exercise) Program as well as training a variety of individuals at DownTown Fitness in Greensboro. His diverse experiences have given him a greater understanding of the ever evolving dynamic between our physical and psychological selves. These experiences have led Chris to use a variety of different approaches to help clients stay active and reach their goals.