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Freaky Friday #14: Heart and Core

Freaky Friday #14:  Heart and Core

It’s time to work that core baby. I know everyone is killing the New Year’s Resolution to shed a few pounds and look tight and right for lake season, so we thought we would put together a core routine to accelerate the process. In all seriousness, having a strong core is essential for most everything you do from running, to hiking, to playing catch with the kids in the front yard. For those that don’t know, the core is the torso area on the front of your body extending around to the lower back and glutes. Its main purpose is to take excessive load off of the spine and also transfer load from the legs to the upper body. Having a strong core is not just going to get you more looks in your swimsuit, but it's essential to minimize injuries, generate power, and keep you working at optimal performance levels.

We called this one Heart and Core because this is a workout that we like to end our cardio days with. We don’t lift every day of the week and on the days where we are doing a long run, sprints, or cardio-HIIT type workout, this is great to tack on at the end. You don’t have to save it for cardio days, in fact, you can train your core 7 days a week if you want. We are just suggesting doing this one 2-3 times per week as a great cool down after cardio.

Just you. Everything we are going to do in this exercise can be done at home with no equipment.

Each movement we do in this workout needs to be intentional. What I mean by that is clear your mind, slow down, and focus on the muscles that we are training. No matter the exercise, if you slow down and concentrate on the muscle you are working, you will see better results. Put the phone away, stop thinking of what you have to do next, and give yourself to this next 1-15 minutes.

I am going to lay out the routine, then below, do my best to define each of the movements. If you are having trouble, as with anything else in life, type it in on YouTube and watch the magic. Let’s go!

Rockers X 10
Toe to Hand x 10 each side
V-Ups x 10
Single Leg V-Ups X 10 each side
Superman x 12
Vertical Leg Lifts x 10
Hip Bridge to V-UP x 10
Single Leg Hip Bridge x 10 each side
Side Plank Leg Lift x 10 each side
Plank x 60 seconds
Plank Leg Lifts x 10 each side
Leg Table Tops x 12
Bird Dogs x 10 each leg
Slow Motion Mountain Climbers x 10 each side
Child’s Pose
Down Dog

Rockers- Lay on your back, hold on to your knees, and rock from your butt back toward your head. One back and forth is one rep.

Toe to Hand- Lay on your back with your arms out. Take your right leg and touch your toes to your left hand. Then take your left leg, sweep it over and touch your toes to your right hand. That is one on each side, do 10 on each.

V-Ups- Lay on your back. Keep legs straight and arms straight. Fold your body together so you touch your toes right in the middle of your body.

Single Leg V-Ups- Same as above, just keep one leg on the ground and touch your toe with the opposite hand.

Superman- Lay on your stomach with arms above your head and legs spread about shoulder width. In one, small movement, lift your arms and legs slightly above the floor.

Vertical Leg Lifts- Lay on your back, legs straight in the air, perpendicular to the floor, lift heels toward the air in a straight line. This is a relatively small movement using your lower back and lower abs.

Hip Bridge to V-UP- Lay on your back, feet on the floor. Press in your heels and lift your pelvis toward the ceiling (hip bridge). Once you return to the floor, execute a v-up (see above). That is 1 rep.

Single Leg Hip Bridge. Lay on your back, put one foot on the floor, the other leg should be toward the sky. Press in with your heels and lift your leg toward the ceiling.

Side Plank Leg Lift- Lay on your elbow and same side foot. Lift your opposite leg toward the ceiling.

Plank- Face the floor and get on your elbows and toes. Try to make a straight line from your head to your feet. Don’t arch your butt in the air. Use your abs, obliques, and glutes to hold you in place.

Plank Leg Lifts- Same position as plank, but lift one leg up in the air. Heels toward the sky as high as you can.

Leg Table Tops- Lay on your back. Bring knees toward the chest and create a “table top” from your knees to your feet. Using your lower abs, make a small movement where your knees come toward your chest.

Bird Dogs- Hand and knees. One arm extends forward at the same time the opposite leg extends back and up.

Slow Motion Mountain Climbers- Hand and toes. Slowly, take the right knee toward the left arm. Repeat the other way.

Child’s Pose- Time to relax. Get on your knees and fold your body forward over your knees, chest to the ground. Put your arms to the side and then extend on the floor above your head.

That’s it. I hope the core is burning and you are feeling stronger than ever. Do this until Memorial Day and your significant other will thank you as will your lower back.