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The Busy Person's Core Workout

As a competitive distance runner, I’ve always been aware that a strong core can make a difference in maintenance, performance, and health, but as much as I’ll tell myself that core work will get done in the comfort of my home, in front of the television, later, something always comes up. I believe in the “in the moment” mentality towards core work, as in, when the thought comes into my head, I better do a few core exercises before I conveniently forget again.

The following are some of my “in the moment” core exercises, which can be performed as often as the thought occurs. As with most things, start with a few reps and increase gradually.

1. The Bed Rower – Sitting in bed/on the ground, get in the generic rowers bend, resting on your tailbone. Crunch in, then lean back with legs extended. Repeat. I find that doing this on a malleable surface causes your core to rely on the strength of itself & build upwards as opposed to relying on a stable surface.


2. Reverse Crunches – Laying in bed/on the ground, put your hands behind your head, with your legs extended but raised slightly off the bed. You can either keep your legs locked straight, or bent. Use your core & hips to move your legs inward towards your chest. Slowly release your legs back down, but don’t let them drop.


3. Commercial Plank - Hold for the length of a commercial, relax for one. Move into side plank on a different commercial. Relax. For an added challenge: 1 arm/1 leg plank – hold an arm out straight, along with opposite leg and hold for the length of a commercial.


4. The Superman Pose - Lie face down. Raise one arm off the ground and hold for 20-30 seconds. Release and raise the other arm. Then move to your legs; hold one leg at a time off the ground. Then, try holding an alternate leg and arm off the ground at the same time. Then, try both arms up at one time and then both legs at one time. Hold each of these poses for 20 to 30 seconds, relax, and repeat.


5. Yoga Ball Frog-Ups – With a yoga ball in front of the entertainment of your choice (TV, spouse, child), balance with your low stomach on the forefront of the ball, arms outstretched and bracing the ground in front of you. Point your toes and tap them together, forming a diamond shape between your legs. With your pointed toes together reach up as high as you can go, lifting your quads as much off the ball as possible. Bring them down. Rest. Repeat.


If you can find time in your schedule to incorporate other core strengthening activities, a run in Galbraith (your arms will naturally maintain a wider stance in keeping balance over the soft, uneven ground & your core will tighten to stabilize you) or yoga would be great additions.


-Courtney O.
C.A., Noble Chiropractic


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