Core Challenge – November

This is your monthly core challenge… For the next 4 weeks, do these exercises AT LEAST 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.

Kid version of me when I thought I had abs, but I really didn't but was probably stronger than I am now... (I am the one on the right)

Kid gymnast version of me when I thought I had abs, but I really didn’t but was probably stronger than I am now… (I am the one on the right)

CORE CHALLENGE – November

Upper Abdominals

Crunches ———— 3 sets of 15 reps
START…
  • LIE ON BACK WITH FEET FLAT ON FLOOR & KNEES BENT (APPROXIMATELY 60 DEGREES)
  • PLACE arms across chest
MOVEMENT…
  • CURL TORSO UP, SHOULDERS LIFT OFF FLOOR
  • FEEL ABS CONTRACT, HOLD FOR A COUNTY OF 1
  • RETURN SLOWLY TO STARTING POSITION & REPEAT

Lower Abdominals

Reverse Crunches ————— 3 sets of 15 reps

 START:

  • LIE ON BACK, knees bent to 90 degrees, feet off of the floor
  • PLACE ARMS OUT TO THE SIDES OR BY YOUR HIPS TO STABILIZE
MOVEMENT:
  • CONTRACT YOUR ABDOMINAL MUSCLES & BRING YOUR rear in the air
    • Important: try not to rock your hips back wards and ‘roll’ your rear off the ground, this should be a stable/slow movement to work your abs
  • HOLD 1 COUNT
  • RETURN TO STARTING POSITION AND REPEAT
Reverse crunches

Reverse crunches

If the reverse crunches above are too tough for you to start out, try this similar lower abdominal exercise here

 

Obliques

Oblique Crunch ————— 2 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

 

Combo Crunch (works all parts of core)

Crossover Crunch ————— 2 sets of 12 reps
 START:
  • LIE ON BACK WITH FEET FLAT ON FLOOR & KNEES BENT (60 DEGREES)
  • HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD, ARMS BENT
MOVEMENT:
  • CURL TORSO UP, MOVING right elbow toward, left knee, SHOULDERS LIFT OFF FLOOR
  • FEEL ABS CONTRACT, HOLD FOR A COUNT OF 1
  • RETURN SLOWLY TO STARTING POSITION & REPEAT moving the left elbow to right knee

CHALLENGE!

Here is my challenge to you all… do the core challenge at least 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.

Tell me your success stories or your struggle stories! I am here for support, guidance, and advice to tailor your core training to your needs! 🙂

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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