Want to get back into working out but not sure where to start? You're not alone. As covid restrictions start to lift, more and more people are heading to the gym. It's a great idea to get your core strength up before diving back into heavy workouts. Good core stability is crucial to protecting your lumbar spine when performing exercise. Highlighted below are three great core exercises that you can do prior to exercise to health activate your core and improve overall stability.
Planks are one of the best ways to build endurance of the core muscles. While front planks alone are great, you can add into side planks as well to make sure that you are engaging the sides of your core as well. To start, set a running timer on your phone and place it in front of you. Get into a front plank for 15 seconds. Once 15 seconds hits, immediately move into a side plank for 15 seconds. Once the timer hits 30 seconds move into the opposite side plank. At 45 seconds, move back into the front plank and repeat.
The pallof press is a great way to build rotational strength and stability. It is also a great way to build spinal resilience for twisting and turning activities. To start, anchor a superband to a squat rack. Stand parallel to the band and slowly walk away from the squat rack until you start to feel the resistance build. Once you get to a point of good resistance, press your arms straight out & back while keeping your core stiff. You don't want to let the band twist you. This is also called an anti-rotational press. Try 10 on each side of the body.
The previous two exercises targeted the front, sides, and rotational stability of the core. Incorporating the quadruped rounds out the core exercises by focusing on the posterior core muscles. To start, get on your hands and knees with your knees directly under your hips and hands directly under your shoulders. Pretend you have a glass of water sitting on your low back. Extend your left arm and right leg without spilling the water and alternate.
Getting back into working out can be a challenge. Working with a trained professional such as a chiropractor or kinesiologist is a great way to come up with a safe and solid plan to get you back into working out. Schedule an appointment at Okanagan Integrative Health in West Kelowna to get your body ready to start working out again.
Dr. Courtney Means