Selfish Sunday 2|03|2020 – An intense core workout to test your limits

Our first couple self-care check-ins have been simple & sweet…

But it’s time to turn it up a notch!

We feel our best not only when we look our best, but also when we are at our best. So today’s challenge will be to complete a core-strengthening workout that will put us at the top of our game.

The benefits of core training. The core muscles work as stabilizers for the entire body to ensure safe function for everyday life. Strong core muscles prevent poor posture, injury, lower back pain. And…who wouldn’t want rock solid abs? 😏

Tiny Tip: Take your time, do your best, and be proud of your effort.

The warm-up. Before starting your workout, you want to make certain that your muscles and joints are loosened up and ready to be used. If I’m at home, I like to jump rope for three to five minutes and break into static stretches afterward. At the gym, I’d work the elliptical or stair master for 6-10 minutes. It’s your preference to how you prepare your body for a workout, as long as this important step gets done.

Estimated workout duration. 25-30 minutes.

The workout.

Complete 2-3 rounds of exercises.

Plank jacks. Begin in plank position, with your shoulders over your wrists, your body in one straight line, and your feet together. Like the motion of a jumping jack, jump your legs wide and then back together. Jump as quickly as you want, but keep your pelvis steady and don’t let your tush rise toward the ceiling. Do 12-15 reps.

Plank with knee tucks. Start in a full plank position with palms resting on the floor and hands in line with your shoulders. You should form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Brace your core and drive your right knee across your body toward your left elbow. Repeat with left knee to right elbow. Do 12-15 reps on each leg.

Bicycle crunches. Start by lying on the ground, with your lower back pressed flat into the floor and your head and shoulders raised slightly above it. Place your hands lightly on the sides of your head; don’t knit your fingers behind. Be careful not to yank your head with your hands at any point during the exercise. Lift one leg just off the ground and extend it out. Lift the other leg and bend your knee towards your chest. As you do so twist through your core so the opposite arm comes towards the raised knee. You don’t need to touch elbow to knee, instead focus on moving through your core as you turn your torso. Your elbow should stay in same position relative to your head throughout – the turn that brings it closer to the knee comes from your core. It might be best to think shoulder to knee as you move, rather than elbow to knee. Lower your leg and arm at the same time while bringing up the opposite two limbs to mirror the movement. Do 10 reps on each side.

Windshield wipers. Lie down flat on your back and position your arms straight out at your sides. Bend your knees to a 90 degree angle and rotate your hips to your sides without letting your legs touch the floor. (Make this exercise more challenging by keeping your legs straight, I DARE you). Do 10-12 reps on each side.

Lying knee tucks. Lie down flat on your back and raise the knees toward your forehead while contracting your abdominals and exhaling. Once your abs are fully contracted and your knees are slightly above parallel, slowly lower your legs back to the starting position. Do 10-12 reps.

Cool down. I like to focus on deep breathing and stretching the muscles I targeted during the workout. Choose 3-5 stretches and hold them for 15-20 seconds each.

Core Stretches.

Lying abdominal stretch

Child’s pose

Sleeping abdominal stretch

How do you feel?

Before you go:

Solve this riddle: A 190lb woman goes to the gym every day for 8 months. At the end of the 8 months, she still weighs 190lbs. How is this possible? (Answer will be featured in next blog post so stayed tuned! Guesses are welcome in the comment section 😊)

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