4 Core-Toning Moves That’ll Work Wonders On Your Posture
Most of us can’t exactly change the fact that we work behind a desk all day. But we can dedicate five minutes of our mornings or evenings to strengthening our cores in the name of healthy posture. Maintaining proper posture is critical for the balance and alignment of your spine, which prevents a mess of other painful issues down the line. So in the name of your health, let’s hit the mat, shall we?
The workout below comes to you from Caley Crawford, the director of education at Row House, a national boutique fitness studio that offers full-body rowing workouts. It’s a ladder-style core workout that’ll help you strengthen and tone your abs, obliques and lower back in a matter of minutes. Just follow the timing cues below and feel the burn!
This isometric core exercise is all about strength and stabilization. Lie down on your back with your legs extended and your arms reaching out into a T shape. Engage your core to lift your arms, shoulders and legs, pressing your lower back into the floor. Reach your arms out and up toward the sky, and point your toes away from you as you keep your legs as straight as you can. Breathe as you hold your body in this position until it’s time to switch moves. For a modification, bend your knees the moment your lower back comes off the ground.
Authentic to the sport of rowing, scullers are used by many rowing crew teams as their primary core exercise during practice because it simulates the stroke and fires up the core. Begin by sitting on the floor with your knees bent, feet hovering in the air, shoulders off the ground and arms reaching above your knees as if you’re holding on to the handlebars of the rowing erg. As you inhale, extend your legs and draw your hands in toward your torso, bending your elbows out to the sides. As you exhale, crunch back to the original position with your knees bent and arms extended. To modify, place your hands on either side of you on the floor for additional support.
Side Plank + Knee Drives
Side planks are great for shoulder stability and core strengthening, especially in the obliques. Start in a forearm side plank position on your right side, stacking your elbow beneath your shoulder, stacking your left leg on top of your right and reaching your left arm into the air. Slightly lifting your left foot, bend your left knee and drive it toward your torso as you bring your left elbow down to meet it. Extend back to the starting plank position. Repeat for the required amount of time and then switch sides.
Row House Climbers
Developed by Row House, these mountain climbers add that much more oomph to your core workout. Start in a high plank position. Keeping your core engaged, bring your right knee up and out to your right elbow, and then take your leg back into the plank. Repeat the knee hike on the left side. Then complete one full push-up, or lower your knees to the floor for a modified push-up. Repeat this combination in a slow and controlled fashion for the required time to reap the biggest benefits.
Complete three rounds of the exercises above in the order that they’re listed. In the first round, perform each move for 10 seconds. In the second round, up it to 20 seconds each. And finally, in the third round, knock out each exercise for 30 seconds. Phew!