The first week at the gym is usually exciting but difficult as well to sustain, by now you must be feeling light and your body must be loosened up. Now the second step to achieve your dream body is to work on your core first, why did I mentioned core first because we need to make sure that the muscles which are responsible for structural support should be awaken and made to work before doing any dynamic movements.
Usually, when core exercise term is used, people believe it’s all about six packs and abdominal muscles. But core is not about just abs. It is a group of intrinsic muscles like transverse abdominis (TVA), interior and exterior obliques, quadratus lumborum, erector spinae, pelvic floor muscles as well as gluts or our butt muscles.
So now for couple of weeks let’s work on making our body more stable and upright so that it’s ready for fat loss and strength conditioning.
Core Bracing : Place your one hand below the arch of your back and one on your belly. Tense your stomach as if you were about to be punched in; it increases the contraction so that you feel your sides stiffen and your lower back more stable. Hold it for 10-20 counts and release. Do it for 4-5 sets.
Isometric knee tuck hold: Lie down on your back keeping your feet flat on ground. Pull your feet up making a 90 degree angle at your knee joint, draw your belly button towards your spine; increase the contraction so that you feel your sides stiffen. Hold this position for 20 seconds, make sure your back is flat against the ground.
3.Bird and dog: I often recommend this exercise to all my clients as this exercise makes our body comes in extension phase engaging posterior chain of muscles. Kneel on the floor with hands firmly placed about shoulder width apart. Brace the abdominals, and at first, practice lifting one hand and the opposite knee just clear of the floor while balancing on the other hand and knee. Half an inch will do until you get the idea of it. When you’re ready to do the complete exercise, point the arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg to the rear (see diagram). The shoulders and the hips should be parallel. Hold for 10 seconds then return to hands and knees on ground position.
4.Hip bridges: Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground just close enough that you can graze your heels with your fingertips when you stretch your arms down by your side. Your feet should be about hip-width apart.
Then drive up through your heels and upper back to lift your glutes off the ground. Drive your hips up as high as possible, squeezing the glutes hard. Keep your belly button drawn in so you don’t hyper extend your back. Do not push backward off your heels. Make sure you are driving straight up and that your knees aren’t caving in. Squeeze your glutes for second or two at the top and lower all the way back down to the ground before repeating. You should feel this move in your glutes and hamstrings.
Come in a push up position first, then bend elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds for 3-4 rounds.
Single leg stance hold: Standing tall on two feet first engage your core by pulling your belly button towards your spine, making sure keeping your shoulders over hip aligned with knee and ankle in same line, gradually shift your load from two feet to one and hold position for 15-20 seconds and change to another side.
Working on your core and building strong base is same like making a strong foundation for building a strong bridge. Remember a stable body can produce more force and better output so before letting yourself to jump in for hard workouts start making your body more balanced and stable. Do above mentioned exercises with moderate intensity of cardio for 2 weeks and you will notice more upright posture with more strength which will serve a foundation for your fat loss or muscle building journey. Keep your excitement high and be consistent: your journey is long and you need a lot of hard work to achieve your fitness goals. Be FAB!