In 2016, she wanted to focus more on her core. She wanted to work on a plan of sit-ups and planks that would help build her strength and endurance, as well as improve her running.
I looked her way and said, "I might know someone who can help you with that."
And if I could speak in emojis, a winking smiley face would have floated above my head and, depending on my level of sassiness, bonked her in the head.
But, all kidding aside, many people like to resolve to strength train or improve core strength. While the 30-day plans that are commonplace on Pinterest have a purpose, I don't find them to be well rounded. Thirty days of building to a 5-minute plank does improve endurance but you might be putting undo pressure on your spine and other joints and sacrificing form in favor of time. You are also excluding exercises that are part of the trunk – namely, low back and hips.
So I took my friend's passing remark as a challenge. I was going to design a four-week core program that could be incorporated into a pre-existing running or strength training plan. Each week has an "A" workout and a "B" workout; "A" days are focused on time, and "B" days on repetitions. The workouts will get progressively harder as the month goes on.
I'm going to share them here, as well, if anything so that they have a reference for the exercises. Let me know if you try any of them out!
Week 1, Workout APerform each exercise for 30 seconds before moving onto the next. Repeat the cycle two times total.
2. Pilates single leg stretch
4. Bicycle crunches
5. Forearm plank
Week 1, Workout BPerform 12 repetitions of each exercise before moving onto the next. Complete one cycle.
1. Bird dog
2. Low back extensions
3. Pilates saw
4. Ankle grabbers
6. Side crunch (l)
8. Side crunch (r)
9. Glute bridge/hip thrust
11. Plank with hip dips
12. Plank with knee to chest