Would you like to functionally train your core? Then take a look at this.
This functional approach prepares the body for the rigors of daily life.
First, warm up with 2–3 minutes of low planks and slow, controlled supine spinal-flexion and prone spinal-extension exercises. Next, do the following five exercises. You will need Gliding™ discs or anything that slides easily on the floor (paper plates or furniture sliders, for example). Perform each move for 45 seconds, with a 15-second transition time, for a total of 5 minutes. Repeat once and then finish with a 2- to 3-minute cool down.
Sit with thoracic spine extended, knees bent.
- Place one disc between knees to engage hip and spinal stabilizers, and hold another disc between hands.
- Rotate thoracic spine right and left. Keep arms chest-height, centered with sternum.
Prone Plank/Mud Crawl
- Start in plank with disc under each foot.
- Have elbows directly under shoulders, arms parallel and aligned.
- Extend legs and hips; spine is neutral.
- Brace core, and gaze at fingers.
- “Walk” forearms back four steps, then forward to original position.
- Modification: Move back and forth only two steps or simply hold plank.
- Sit with knees bent, stacked to R side, weight shifted slightly to R hip.
- Place disc under R hand, R arm fully extended.
- Slide disc R, abducting R shoulder. Use obliques, lats and shoulder adductors to slide disc back to original position.
- Switch sides at halfway mark.
- Modification: Decrease range of motion.
Prone Lat Pull
- Lie prone, arms extended, shoulders flexed overhead, each hand on a disc.
- Let legs be extended, slightly abducted and laterally rotated.
- Lift abdominals, then use lats and abs to slide arms under shoulders.
- Keep shoulder stabilizers engaged by depressing scapulae and staying broad through chest.
- Slowly lower body back to floor, abdominals engaged.
- Modification: Focus on lifting abdominals away from floor.
- Sit in V-position, thoracic spine extended, knees bent, legs adducted.
- Have both arms straight, hands on discs.
- Roll straight down and back, flexing spine one vertebra at a time until lumbar spine and bottom back ribs are on floor. Simultaneously slide arms to sides, slightly above shoulders.
- Use abdominals and obliques to roll up (peel spine off floor) to original V-position.
- Progression: Roll to side-lying position and then return to V-position. Regression: Decrease range of motion.
For more information on how to train the core more functionally, Maurie Cofman, CMES, CES, TBMM-CES, Personal Trainer, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist in the St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO area.