Are you just getting into the fitness game again?
The first thing you need to do is strengthen your core (all the muscles between your shoulders and hips). *Stabilization is the first step, because it will get your body prepared for mobility, strength, and power (next steps in building your fitness).
1. Modified Plank
- Neck in neutral alignment – don’t look up.
- Elbows are directly under the the shoulders – not out in front of you. (the rule is the same if performing these from your hands.)
- Press your shoulders back and down towards hips – no shrugging.
- Pull your abs in, focusing below your belly button.
- Drop your hips down so your body is in a straight line.
- Start from your knees (example in first photo below).
- Hold position while focusing on the breath for 10 seconds, build your time from there.
- Try straightening out one leg for added difficulty (second photo below).
You can add a stability ball (unstable surface) directly under the hips for an added challenge.
If you are more of a intermediate/advanced exerciser, click on SB plank photo above to give you intermediate/advanced progressions. Don’t start those exercises until you have perfect form with modified exercises.
2. V Sit
V Sit rules:
- Neck neutral
- Chest lifted
- Shoulders retracted and depressed (pull a towel apart to focus on shoulder/scapular stability)
- Abs pulled in
- Heels pressed down to floor
- Lean back only as far as you can with your spine straight – no collapsing (first photo below).
- Hold position for time, and breathe!
- Increase difficulty by straighening out one leg (second photo below).
- Lay in a supine postition, knees bent and hip width apart.
- Pull a towel apart while pressing shoulders into the floor and towards your hips (photo 1 below).
- With abs pulled in, slowly lift hips by squeezing your glutes (photo 2 below).
- If you are too unstable, drop towel and put your hands by your side.
- Don’t let your knees drop in together.
- Hold position for time.
- To increase difficulty, bring your feet closer together, then try to straighten out one leg (photo 3 below).
- When knee is extended, don’t let your hip drop down on that same side.
Challenge yourself by building on your time until you hit a minute. THEN you can increase to full planks, v sit w/ double leg extension (and arms overhead), and stability ball bridges.
*Remember to see your physician before starting any new fitness program.