This week’s YouTube video is all about the core – specifically, strengthening your core. Did you know that roughly 80% of adults suffer from low back pain? Maybe you experience it every so often? Did you also know that the vast majority of that pain is due to weak core musculature? And by core, we’re talking the 30+ muscles that encase your entire midsection, front, through the center and the back. So, to strengthen your core, that means doing more (and usually none) than traditional sit-ups.

In this video, I walk you through 5 of my favorite core-strengthening moves. I love these as a complete workout because they target so many of those 30+ muscles without ever doing a traditional sit-up, which I hate, by the way!

Recruit multiple muscles in a single move + improve your posture and breathe deeper = a stronger, pain-free core!

Equipment –

  • Optional dumbbell or barbell
  • Swiss (stability) ball

The Breakdown –

1. Barbell Crunch Knee Tucks – Option to use no weight or a single dumbbell. If you don’t use weight, place your hands, palms down, by your sides

*Proper form – A quick review of proper form for a forearm plank. Nailing this form is really important for doing the next core exercise correctly.

2. Bodysaw Plank – Maintaining the forearm plank position and moving your body back and forth as if sawing a piece of wood…like using your body as the saw

3. Super(wo)mans w/ Lat Squeeze – Notice the position of my head, neck and shoulders throughout this move. Keeping your spine neutral is key to letting your core muscles do the work. The bonus here is squeezing the muscles in your back!

4. Swiss (stability) Ball Twist (option to hold a dumbbell) – I demo the fast and slow version here. Like the forearm plank, make sure you have proper form on the slower version before picking up the pace. Option to hold weight or put your hands together in “prayer” and do the twists. Notice my knees are not going past my toes during the twist even though my hips were super tight when I filmed this.

5. Combo – Dead Bug w/ Arm Reach + Leg Lifts (drops) – None of my clients liked this combo. I’m surprised! Ha! Challenge yourself in the dead bug move to extend your opposite arm and leg. You’re welcome.

And if you’re wondering whether a “strong core” will get you those “six-pack abs”…the answer is YES! When your muscles are engaged and fired up all day, they’re burning calories ’round the clock. The only way to engage those muscles is to strengthen them so that everything you do then becomes “core work!”

Try these moves and let me know what you think! I love getting feedback on the videos and as always, let me know if there is anything you’d like me to cover in an upcoming video.

Happy training!