Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the last several months I have placed a lot of emphasis on core training with my clients.  In addition to total body exercises that address all of their muscle groups  we are constantly looking for new ways to challenge the core and incorporate that into every work out.  Today I'd like to share some thoughts with you on core exercise and encourage you to jump on my bandwagon!

What is your core? Put simply, it's not just your abs! For the purposes of visualization go ahead and consider your core everything below your neck down through your pelvis (minus your arms).

Click here if you'd like more specifics on what your core entails and it's functions.

Most importantly you should know your core has two parts...stability and movement.
The stability core muscles do just that, help to stabilize during dynamic movements.  The movement core produces the dynamic movements.

What most people get caught up in is training their movement core (doing all kinds of fancy ab exercises) but not putting enough emphasis on their stability core (by doing plank exercises, variations of plank exercises, floor bridges, a drawing-in maneuver to activate your core during other exercises and etc.).  Not addressing your stability core enough is equivalent to building a house on a sand foundation and can result in aches, pains, and injuries particularly to the lower back.

Below are three VERY BASIC stability core strengthening exercises that you can start with.  I recommend incorporating these into your program 2-3x per week.  Challenge yourself to last longer each time you try them.

*NOTE: beginners also have the option of keeping the one or both knees on the ground.
3. Floor Bridge
*simply lie on the ground, engage your core (suck in your stomach as if you were trying to get your belly button and spine to meet, this will create a flat back on the ground), squeeze the glutes and raise your hips towards the ceiling, slowly lower back to starting position and repeat.

More posts to come on core exercises and training!

In Fitness and in Health,


  1. Hey Liz, I just found your blog and I love it! I've been getting more into working out the last few months and your tips are definetly helpful. Planks are one of my favorite exercises, and I was wondering-- what's a more difficult variation or move I could do? I've done walking planks and stuff, but I just wanted to change it up. Thanks!


  2. Kmart! I'm excited to hear about your branch this summer btw, Kate always tells me about you :)

    Here are some ideas:
    1. High to low plank: start on your elbows and one by one raise yourself up on your hands, lower back to your elbows and repeat

    2. you can plank with your elbows on a bosu ball (http://www.bosu.com/) ball side up or flip it over and hold onto the flat side (that's more challenging)

    3. try on your hands or elbows with your feet on a stability ball

    4. stay tuned, in a week or 2 I'll post a few videos of more variations.

    Hope that helps, keep it up!!!