You’re doing endless crunches at every workout and still, you feel some workouts hitting your back. You’re not alone. Many people have confused a strong core with a 6-pack or just doing 5 minutes of abs after they hit their weights. The truth is your core includes muscles on your front and your back. Plus muscles that are super deep. And the truth is, while those ab exercises make you feel the burn that we too often associate with a “good” workout, they don’t often hit the muscles of your entire core that will help you lift more, lift heavier, run, bike and do life better. Imagine, not having to “brace” to lift your weights, groceries, or kids?
Let’s first talk about all the muscles that make up your core:
- pelvic floor muscles
- transverses abdominis
- internal and external obliques
- rectus abdominis
- erector spinae
- latissimus dorsi,
- gluteus maximus
Now, you don’t need to be an anatomy expert to know all these muscles. The top 5 are on the front and wrap the sides. Then the rest, except the diaphragm, are on your back. Can you see how if you just do crunches and sit-ups you are only hitting part of your core? And that’s why your core still needs strengthening.
Luckily, you can easily work and strengthen these muscles no matter your fitness level. And you don’t need a gym membership or access to weights to do it.
My favorite exercises to hit these muscles are:
- Shoulder Bridge: hits your glutes, erector spinae, inner thighs
- Side Kicks: obliques, glutes, abdominals
- Criss Cross: obliques
- Thigh Stretch: glutes, inner thighs, trapezius
- Hundred: multifidus is challenged, abdominals, latissiumus dorsi
- Roll Up: abdominals, obliques, latissimus, glutes
- Swan: erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings, trapizus, latissimus dorsi, abdominals
- Swimming: erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings, trapizus, latissimus dorsi, abdominals
To name a few!
I believe that form when you are working out is everything. When you are loading weight into your movements you need your whole body to be there for you. Pilates is an excellent assistance to weightlifting. You don’t need to add hours of Pilates to your life though. Just adding some Mat exercises into your warm-up and/or cool-down will help strengthen your entire core and you will see your squats get deeper, your presses get stronger and your lower back will not be compromising your efforts.
Get my pdf that you can take with you, save it to your phone where ever you go. Add these into your warms up. The exercises I chose will have you working your front, back, sides and twist. The 7 exercises I put together once you know them will take you 7 min or less to do!
Just fill out this form and I’ll email it to you (don’t forget to check your spam and add the address to your address book!)