Keep Your Core Strong in Quarantine

Keep Your Core Strong in Quarantine
Keep Your Core Strong in Quarantine

Keep Your Core Strong in Quarantine : Albert Einstein once said that “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” We might be in quarantine and confined to our homes but that doesn’t mean that when these lockdowns are lifted we can’t come out stronger than ever. Let’s keep using this time stuck indoors as a time to mindfully care for both our mental health and our physical health. Keeping busy and creating a self-care routine that includes regular exercise can help the days seem less mundane and the days feel less drawn out.

Add core strengthening exercises into your home workout to help stay strong and injury free. A strong core is the foundation of body strength. Without it, we are more prone to injuries including back pain and joint issues. Already got a strong core? The great news for you is that you can never do too much core training. Here are some of my favourite core strengthening exercises for doing at home.

Equipment: One work out mat and two gliders (if you don’t have gliders, use two facecloths)

The Classic Plank

Not many people realize that the plank is a full-body workout. Primarily used for core strengthening, the plank also helps to strengthen your back, legs, glutes, and arms.

  1. From an all four position, place your hands on the floor in line with your shoulders
  2. Stretch out your legs behind you so you are up on your toes and your back is straight
  3. Engage your core and hold for 10 – 30 seconds
  4. Repeat 5 –  8 times

If you like to keep yourself challenged, try to build up from a starting time of 10 – 30 seconds to 5 minutes over a few weeks.

Challenging Variations of The Plank

The plank is by far a core strengthening staple, but it can get a little dull. Try these variations to mix it up and challenge yourself during your core workout.

The Wheelbarrow

  1. From an all four position, remain kneeling and place gliders or facecloths under your hands
  2. Engage your core
  3. Slide your hands slowly forward past your head
  4. As your torso lowers, keep your core engaged and your back straight as you slide
  5. Push down onto your hands to return to the start position
  6. Repeat for 10 – 15 depending on your fitness level

The Side Plank and side plank rotation

This is a harder variation of the plank that incorporates the obliques which run from your ribcage to your hips.

  1. Start by lying on your side
  2. Lift up your torso and hips keeping your forearm on the floor (90 degrees to your torso) and lining your elbow underneath your shoulder. Your body should form a straight line.
  3. For a classic side plank, fold this position and engage your core for 10 – 30 seconds
  4. Lower and repeat then switch to the other side

For an extra challenge, incorporate rotation.

  1. Position yourself into a side plank and raise your top arm to point to the ceiling
  2. Slowly rotate your torso forward and down bringing your arm down and underneath you
  3. Rotate back to starting position
  4. Repeat 5 – 10 times depending on fitness then switch to the other side

The Body Saw

This is almost the opposite of the Wheelbarrow.

  1. Start in the plank position with two variations:
    • Put gliders or facecloths beneath your toes
    • Instead of raising up onto your hands, position yourself onto your forearms with your elbows in line with your shoulders.
  2. Keeping your back straight and your core engage, push with your forearms so that you slide backward on the gliders
  3. Gently pull yourself back into the start position with your forearms
  4. Repeat for 10 – 15 depending on your fitness level

Work these five versions of the plank into your work out at home to help keep your routines fresh and motivating.  When trying these at home, focus on technique first of all to ensure that your core stays engaged and your spine stays straight. Planks are underrated but are a winning move for core strength. Incorporating plank challenges into your home work out not only improves your strength but also protects your organs and nervous system that your core encases. Try a different one each day to keep your core strong and challenge your self to hold them longer or do more reps.

Katherine Rundell is a personal trainer and contributes training articles to Do My Homework. She has strong experience working with teams to get them match-ready and stay fit between seasons. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keep Your Core Strong in Quarantine

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