You’ve probably heard the benefits of having a strong core—injury prevention, strength, and stability all start in the core. Core strength is often the first component of fitness rebuilt after injury and the American Council on Exercise recommends that all personal trainers ensure that their clients have established proper core stability before progressing to weight-bearing exercises.
This core circuit focuses on stabilizer muscles that will allow you to move more safely and efficiently in your day-to-day life. It’s based on the principles of developmental kinesiology, which describes how human children innately move to build up the core strength required for walking. It’s also low back-friendly (although always consult your healthcare provider before doing exercise if you are experiencing pain!) This circuit can be added to your normal workout, done on its own, or repeated several times.
One of my favorite plank alternatives! You’ll begin in a tabletop and curl your toes underneath you to stand on the balls of your feet. Hold for 20-40 seconds.
Modified Plank Step-outs
For this progression, you’ll start in the modified plank from before and begin to step your legs out one at a time. Perform 10-20 step-outs.
This circuit involves a good deal of weight-bearing for the wrists, so I like to throw in some wrist TLC. Always listen to your body and take wrist stretches and breaks as needed! For this strengthening move, you’ll begin in a child’s pose with your big toes touching and knees as wide as the mat. Arms will lengthen out in front of you and you’ll start to lift your wrists up while keeping you fingers flat on the ground. Perform 5-10 repetitions.
Modified Plank Kicks
Your new favorite move to work the glutes! You’ll start in the same modified plank we’ve been working with and lift your right leg in a fire hydrant motion. Repeat 10-15 times and move to the opposite leg.
Modified Plank Kicks with Resistance Band
To progress the previous move, we’ll add resistance. If you don’t have a resistance band or find the kicks without resistance very challenging, no worries – you can perform another set without resistance. If you do have a resistance band and are ready to progress, you’ll place it just above the knees and perform the same movement as before. Repeat 10-15 times on one leg before moving to the next.
This movement is particularly inspired by developmental kinesiology – it’s how babies learn to move. You’ll start in a modified plank and bring the opposite arm and leg forward at a time. You can crawl in one place or you can move around the room! Perform 5-10 repetitions on each side.
Modified Plank Knee Taps
This modified plank variation will work the lower abs and help you build up strength to crawl more easily. You’ll start in a modified plank and tap the knees forward one at a time.
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Video: Maille O’Donnell; Music: I Did That by Diamond Ortiz via YouTube Library