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Loop These Exercises for an Awesome Core!

Your stomach area is your core. Often referred to as the “power house,” your core helps keep you centered, so you should take care of it! Here are some exercises that help work out the core muscles.

First off, there is the superman. You begin by lying on your stomach with a small pillow or a rolled towel under your hips to support your back (but that is not necessary. It is a modification). Websites also recommend using a folded towel to support your head.

From there, you raise your right arm off the floor, hold this position for three deep breaths, and then lower your right arm. Afterwards, repeat the same motion on the left arm: raise it your left arm, hold your position for three deep breaths. Then, raise your right leg off the floor, hold for three deep breaths, and then lower the leg. Repeat the same steps with the left leg.

If you are feeling adventurous you can try the Somanabolic Muscle Maximizer System and raise your arms and legs at the same time, hold the position for three to five breaths, and then lower your limbs.

Next, you can hold a plank position, which looks like a push up position: arms holding your body up, legs stretched behind you. You can move to your side, put your weight, shift it, to your right arm and stack up your right leg over the left leg. From there, you should hold for three deep breaths, and then lower your arm, repeat it on the other side: on the left side, shift your weight on your left arm, and hold that position for three to five breaths, and then slowly lower your arm and unstack your leg. I like to shift from one side of the plank position to a standard plank position, and then go into an upward dog position from there. Essentially, you are still shifting your weight on your arms, but you give your back and legs a break. If you are lucky, you will hear your back crack. Ah.

Another position you use for your core muscles is bridge pose. Bridge pose is where you lie on your back with your knees bent. Then, you keep your back in a neutral position.  This is very important. You want to have your back safe in this pose. Tighten your abdominal muscles and avoid tilting your hips. Here comes the difficult part: lift your hips off the floor until they are aligned with your knees and shoulders. Hold the position for three deep breaths (I aim for five deep breaths, but three works fine, too).

Afterwards, you can drop your hips and repeat the exercise again. Some people do it as a series of repetitions and some make it a set of one repetition: they stay with their hips lifted for as long as possible. Either way, you are working your core and your hips.

The single leg abdominal press is another option you can consider to strengthen your core. First, you lie on your back with your knees bent. Again, make sure your back is neutral, not arched. Avoid tilting your hips. From there, you raise your right leg off the floor and bend it at a 90 degree angle. You can rest your right hand on top of your right knee. Then, push your hand against your knee as you use your abdominal muscles to make your knee reach you hand. With your arms straight, hold this position for three deep breaths.

Now, repeat this position on your left hand and knee.

It takes a while to build strong core muscles but you can do it by time and practice.

Looping Your Way to Fitness