Weekly Challenge: Getting to the Core

29 Jan

So if you’ve been following along with the weekly challenges to improve your health and meet your fitness goals then you’ve increased your physical activity by walking/running at least one mile a day, you’ve learned about your food intake and have challenged yourself to make better choices, you’ve learned to prioritize, and you’ve learned that You Are Enough. (Wow, that was a long sentence.) Hopefully you’re beginning to develop some good habits that will become a part of your permanent lifestyle.

For this week’s challenge we will focus on the core.

Core-muscles

Source

The core muscles comprise the muscles in the back, abdomen, glutes and hips. Core strength is involved in everything we do including standing, sitting, lifting . . . every movement begins in the core. Without a strong core we are at increased risk of injury not only from strenuous activities but also from activities of daily living.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to increase core strength and awareness is the plank.

imageThis move can be done high (on hands) or low (on elbows and forearms). When done correctly there is a straight line down the entire back body from head to heel. The top of your head and your heels are in opposition, pulling your body up and out. Your abs should feel tight and pulled in (no sagging or dipping back allowed) and your quads and glutes should be engaged.

For this week’s challenge let’s see how long we can hold a plank position. Start with 30 seconds, breathing deeply and with control. It will become uncomfortable–challenging–but shouldn’t hurt. Then, the next day, push yourself longer. Can you hold the plank for 45 seconds? One full minute? More?

Feel free to challenge yourself with this Flat-Belly Yoga routine, too. (That’s my cute daughter in the pics. Love her!)

Flat Belly Yoga

One minute in each pose = a tight core.

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