The core was always a spot that I neglected. I mean, I held my core in when doing squats and lunges, I worked it during classes, and typically one more during the week, but I never really enjoyed it. I always felt it was something I could dismiss and I’d be fine without it.
Turns out, you use your core for a lot. Now that my core is basically non-existant, I realize the importance of it. It’s funny to say, but getting up is a struggle without a core, bending over, getting out of the car, all those little things you don’t think about are huge when you don’t have core strength.
Your core isn’t just the front part of your stomach, commonly referred to as abs. In fact, your core wraps all the way around your back and includes your lower back. Without a strong core, you can also have serious back issues.
Just as your other muscles shouldn’t be worked on consecutive days, neither should your core. I suggest working them 2-3 times a week, but pulling in your core during all of your other workouts! Performing bicep curls? Pull that core in. Squatting? Yep, pull the core in. Back row? Core! It’s easy to forget, but you’ll notice a difference when you start doing it more often.
Today’s workout is focusing on the plank. Though planks can be risky during pregnancy because of all the weight pulling you down and abs apart, I still make sure to include them into my classes I teach. I did this past week in my class (well, I demonstrated), and they were dying by the end. Make sure you keep the core in during the plank, and follow through with the key motions for the plank- straight line from head to feet, hands (or elbows) under your shoulders, core pulled in.
Plank It Out Workout
With this workout, you will complete each exercise for :40 seconds, and rest :10 seconds before moving on. When resting, just drop your knees, and you can go into child’s pose.
With the forearm plank, keep the elbows under your shoulders. As you complete the straight arm plank, you will be on your hands. Side planks, choose to either be on your hands or elbows, depending on which feels the best (sometimes you will shake and hurt your wrists!). As you complete the plank punches, you will stay in straight arm plank position, but punch out in front of you, one arm at a time. Side Plank Dips will be holding the side plank position, but dropping hips to the ground and picking back up. Alternating plank get ups will have you switching from straight arm to forearm plank!
As always, demonstrations are found in my exercise dictionary.
If you have any questions, please ask away! This can be done following cardio for a great workout, or add it on to any strength training. Whichever you do, it’s just important to do it!