Core Exercises

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Anti-Rotation Band Walkouts– Start by anchoring a resistance band or using a cable column set-up.  Keeping your core very tight, shoulder blades set (down and back), and feet pointed straight ahead (never closer than shoulder width), take the prescribed amount of steps laterally and back in.  Repeat for opposite side. 

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Front Plank–  Start by lying on your stomach, propping your torso up on your forearms (the way you would watch TV while lying down).  From here, contract your core, squeezing your glutes, abdominals, and quads to “pop up” in to the plank position.  Maintain the hold for the prescribed time, all the while drawing your abs inward towards your spine and squeezing your glutes.

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Straight Arm Plank–  Same as the front plank, only you will extend into the top position of a pushup, keeping your arms underneath your shoulders and extended the whole time.  Maintain the hold for the prescribed duration.

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Front Plank with Alternating Leg Lifts– This is performed the same as the front plank, only now you will add in alternating leg lifts.  Squeeze your glutes, quads, and abdominals to fight rotation of the hips/torso as you lift each leg.

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Side Plank–  The side plank is one exercise that many people have a lot of trouble learning the correct form.  Start by lying on your side with your feet stacked on top of each other, and your upper body propped up on your forearm.  Place the non-support arm either on your hip, or straight up in the air (as shown in the video).  From here, tighten your core and drive your hips off of the ground, trying to bring your body into as straight a line as possible (from your feet to your shoulders).  Maintain the hold for the prescribed time.  Tip:  Do not look down at your feet, hips, or anything for that matter.  Place neck in neutral alignment as if though you were comfortably standing.

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Side Plank with Leg Lift–  All of the same directions apply as with the side plank, only now you are going to lift the top leg.  Still focus on keeping the core as tight as possible, never allowing your hips to sag towards the floor.  Continue the hold for the prescribed time.

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Back Bridge– Start by lying on your back with your legs bent at about a 45 degree angle and your feet flat on the floor.  From here squeeze your glutes and press downward through your heels to lift your torso off of the ground.  Your only points of contact should be your feet, shoulders, and head.  You should be in as straight a line as possible from your shoulders to your knees.  Do not let your hips sag.  Hold for the prescribed time.

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Back Bridge with Leg Lift–  This exercise is exactly the same as the back bridge, only now you are going to fully extend one leg and drive it upward.  Do not allow the torso/hips to rotate as you lift and hold the leg.  Maintain hold for the prescribed time.

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Rolling Bridges–  Take what you’ve learned from doing the front plank, side plank , and back bridge and put it all together!  Try not to let the hips touch the ground as you roll from the front plank, to the side plank, to the back bridge, and finally to the other side plank.  Maintain each hold for the prescribed amount of time.

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Reverse Crunches– Start by lying on your back on the floor with your legs bent.  Place your hands at your sides, palms down, for stability.  Contract your abdominal muscles and bring your knees up to your chest,  bring your knees up so that your hips lift off of the floor.  As you return to the start position, keep your abs tight so that your lower back doesn’t over extend.  Continue this process until prescribed reps are completed.

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Advanced Reverse Crunches– Set up on a bench on your back with your hands holding on to the bench behind your head.  Start with your legs straight and then bend your knees and drive them towards your chest.  Once your knees reach your chest drive your feet straight up in the air until your legs are fully extended.  Return down the same path and continue until prescribed reps are completed.  As with reverse crunches keep your abs tight on the way down to keep your lower back from over extending.

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Stability Ball Knee Tucks– Start by getting into a push-up position with your lower legs on a stability ball.  From there, simply pull your knees into your chest while keeping your arms and shoulders locked in the push-up position.  Return to the start position by fully extending your legs again.  Be sure to keep your lower back from extending too much by squeezing your glutes as your legs return to the start position.

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Stability Ball Pikes– Start by getting into a push-up position with your lower legs on a stability ball.  From there, keep your legs straight and drive your hips up in the air.  Keep your arms locked in the push-up position during the whole movement.  As you return, keep your legs straight and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your hips.  Continue for the prescribed amount of reps.

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V-Ups–  Lying on your back, simultaneously extend your legs straight up and crunch, reaching up with your arms and touching your toes.  Return to the starting position under control for all prescribed repetitions.

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Toe Touch Crunches–  Lying on your back, extend your legs straight up, keeping them as straight at possible.  You will keep them in this position for the entire set.  Perform a crunch with your arms extended touching your toes at the top of each repetition.

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Side Crunches–  Side crunches are performed the same way that you set up for a side plank.  Once into the side plank position, drop your hips back to the floor with control and come back up to the side plank under control.  Perform for prescribed repetitions before switching sides.

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Crunches–  Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.  Rest your hands either by your ears, the back of your head, or crossed on your shoulders.  NEVER pull on your head or neck throughout the movement.  Draw your naval in towards your spine (not by sucking in and holding your breath!) and curl your shoulders off of the floor under control.  Return to the starting position and continue for all prescribed repetitions.

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Quadruped Hip Circles

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Fire Hydrants

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Bird Dogs–  Begin by setting on all fours on the floor or a stable, flat surface.  Keeping your back flat and core as tight as possible, squeeze your glutes on the working side (leg) and extend your leg straight back while simultaneously extending your opposite arm out straight ahead.  Do not allow your body to rotate at all as you perform the repetitions.  Complete all reps on one side before switching.

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Donkey Kicks–  Begin by setting on all fours on the floor or a stable, flat surface.  Keeping your back flat and core as tight as possible, squeeze your glutes on the working side and extend your leg straight back.  Do not allow your body to rotate at all as you raise and lower your leg.  Complete all reps on one side before switching.