Core Series

There are four exercises that develop core stability in the torso and gluteal muscles. Despite what you may have been told or shown previously core exercises should been done without movement or excessive strain. The idea is to maintain the curves of the spine as you challenge the small intrinsic muscles in and around the spinal column that support the spinal joints through normal everyday activity.

Core Exercises 1 – 4

            1. Bird-Dog. Start on all fours with hands under armpits and knees under hips, raise one arm and opposite leg, clench fist and push through heal – hold 10 seconds, repeat on other side.

            2. Side Plank. Lay on one side with feet split, place elbow onto the floor, lift up torso by contracting the lower side – hold 10 seconds, repeat other side.

            3. Crunch. Lay on back with one leg straight and the other bent, place hands under lower back to help maintain the lumbar curve (lordosis), whilst laying flat contract abdominal muscles, lift shoulders slightly off the ground, relax neck – hold 10 seconds, change leg arrangement and repeat.

            4. Gluteal Bridge. Lay on back with feet together and comfortably bent, raise hands towards ceiling, lift pelvis up, straighten one leg – hold 10 seconds, swap legs and repeat (NB. stop exercise as soon as you feel cramp in your hamstring – we wish to train the gluteal muscles to “fire” not the hamstring – as the gluteal muscles gain more strength the hamstring will stop being recruited).

This core series is based on the work of Professor Stuart McGill. Professor McGill discovered that core strength was best achieved by hold postures for 10-15seconds multiple times rather than long holds and exaggerated movements. If you wish to extend your core work outs then do multiple reps of holding for 10-15 sec rather than one long 30 sec hold.

Series 1, 2, 4 & 5