Monday, December 30, 2013

Core values: A January challenge

There was a fire in  my belly. A burning, raging fire. Engulfing my insides, radiating from my core to my heals to the top of the head.

As I performed the dynamic boat pose at the end of the barre class, I was consumed by the feeling in my core. It was a feeling of work done and a feeling of work that needs to continue. It was a feeling that I need to take seriously my promises to myself to focus on my core and strengthen it.

A strong core is important for everyone and every body - it's you're center, a foundation and is key to many movements. For me, I believe that it's especially important. An engaged, stronger core will improve my running, yes, help me with balance during Bodypump lunges and bolster my confidence as a personal trainer.

So, for the month of January, I am committing to five minutes of ab exercises six days a week. On the other day, I will perform a tabata-style workout that will incorporate plyometrics that recruit the abs.

And I'm inviting you all to join me. Each Monday, I'll post the week's five exercises (each performed for one minute) and the opportunity to link up. The tabata workout for the week will be posted on Thursday. The workouts will build on each other week to week for variety and to build strength.

Need an incentive? One reader will win a fabulous prize supplied yours truly. It will include but will not be limited to: a pair of SmartWool socks, Nuun, headbands from Prairie Sun Yoga and Clif bars. The winner will be selected via comments on the weekly posts - comment today that you are participating and let me know how you are doing each week.

To make it easier to keep track, here is a link to a calendar. Print it out and check off the workouts each day!

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Now, for the exciting part - this week's exercises! Do each exercise for 30 seconds and repeat the circuit twice. Don't feel obligated to do these exercises every day - the goal is just to find 5 minutes to work on the core.

Pelvic tilts with bent-knee march
Glute bridge
Forearm plank
Bird dog
Bicycle crunch

If you want to share this challenge, use the hashtag #corevalues on Twitter and Instagram and use this button on your blog.

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Disclaimer: While I am an ACE certified personal trainer and a group fitness instructor, I am not your trainer and participation in this challenge is at your own risk. Please consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you experience lower back pain. 


  1. This is awesome! I have been slacking on my cross/core training for sure

  2. I love, love, love this idea! I'm in!

  3. OK fine, I'm in. But I don't know what a bird dog is.

  4. I'm doing it! Thanks for adding the links on the exercises :)

  5. I'm in... does it start jan 1 or today:)

  6. I'm in!!! My core needs help after baby #2

  7. I'm joining from Germany! Ready to feel the burn.

  8. This is exactly what I needed..I am in!

  9. I am in! I want to gain my defined core back after having to take a about a month off core work due to some stomach issues

  10. I'm going to try this (unless my grumpy shoulder decides to be an asshole). Thanks for linking to the exercise instructions!

    Happy New Year!