Core Challenge – October

Besides improving my core strength, this challenge has helped me look good in and love all my clothes! #bonus

Strong abs meet cute clothes!

This is your monthly core challenge… For the next 4 weeks, do these exercises 3 days a week alternating with days off in between. Core strength is vital excellence in any sport and it increases the amount of fat you burn overall!

Fun Fact! Did you know that you abdominal muscles could support up to 40% of the weight of the spine! Strong abs can improve posture and decrease the strain put on the lower back. This means fewer back aches for you.

The different exercises below target different abdominal muscles to give you the best overall strength and best overall workout.

CORE CHALLENGE – October

Upper Abdominals

Thigh Slide Crunch ———— 3 sets of 15 reps
START…
  • LIE ON BACK WITH FEET FLAT ON FLOOR & KNEES BENT (APPROXIMATELY 60 DEGREES)
  • PLACE palms on thighs
MOVEMENT…
  • CURL TORSO UP, MOVING HANDS TOWARDS knees, SHOULDERS LIFT OFF FLOOR
  • FEEL ABS CONTRACT, HOLD FOR A COUNTY OF 1
  • RETURN SLOWLY TO STARTING POSITION & repeat

Lower Abdominals (do 1 of the 2 variations)

Lying Knee Up ————— 3 sets of 12 reps

START:
  • Lie on back, feet straight out in front of you
  • PLACE ARMS OUT TO THE SIDES or by your hips to stabilize
MOVEMENT:
  • Contract your abdominal muscles & bring your knees to your chest
  • Hold 1 count
  • SLowly RETURN TO STARTING POSITION AND REPEAT

OR for a challenge try…

Lemon Sqeezers ————— 3 sets of 12 reps
START:
  • LIE ON BACK, FEET STRAIGHT OUT IN FRONT OF YOU
  • PLACE ARMS BY YOUR HIPS TO STABILIZE
MOVEMENT:
  • CONTRACT YOUR ABDOMINAL MUSCLES
  • BRING YOUR KNEES TO YOUR CHEST & your chest to your knees at the same time
  • Your shoulders will leave the floor & you will be balancing on your buttocks/tailbone at the top of the motion
  • Hands are by your sides, but palms off the floor
  • SLOWLY RETURN TO hollow body position (feet off the ground and shoulders off the ground) & repeat

Obliques

Oblique Crunch ————— 3 sets of 12 reps R & L
START:
  • LIE ON BACK WITH FEET FLAT ON FLOOR & KNEES BENT (60 DEGREES)
  • Roll your knees to the side that you are going to do crunches first (i.e. roll them to the right side for right sided crunches)
  • Hands behind your head, arms bent
MOVEMENT:
  • CURL TORSO UP, MOVING chest toward side, SHOULDERS LIFT OFF FLOOR
  • FEEL ABS CONTRACT, HOLD FOR A COUNT OF 1
  • RETURN SLOWLY TO STARTING POSITION & REPEAT on both sides

Here is my challenge to you all… do the core challenge 3 x a week for 1 month (until the next core challenge is posted). Take a picture before you start of your abs, whatever state they are, and take a picture after so you can track your progress. Measure your waist around the point of your belly button and measure again in 1 month.

I lost 0.5 inch from my waist from September's core challenge and I can tell me abdominals are stronger! One more 0.5 inch to go!

I lost 0.5 inch from my waist from September’s core challenge and I can tell me abdominals are stronger! One more 0.5 inch to go!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
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