Build strength through the belly, side waist, glutes and back with core strengtheners for those of us who don't have all day to hit the gym.
Doable core strengtheners for those of us who don't have all day to hit the gym? Sign us up! Sage Rountree shares a simple sequence to practice.
Core strength a beautiful thing—but not for aesthetic, Instagram-worthy reasons. It's about having the control and support to engage in whatever you like to do (run along the local trail, play tennis, build furniture) without strain or injury. It’s not about what’s on the outside, padding and all; it’s about building strength on the inside, through the belly, side waist, glutes, and back.
I know, I know. You're wary of adding a new routine to your packed schedule. Well, there's good news: Hold each of these poses for up to a minute, resting as needed, and you'll wrap up the whole sequence within 12 minutes. Do it three times per week, and you might be surprised at how much core strength you can gain with only about 30 minutes of focused work each week.
Most core exercises can be divided into two camps: they work either stabilization (holding your spine and pelvis steady) or articulation (moving through the small joints along the spine). Plank is the former, challenging core muscles to hold your body stable in space. We’ll do three different plank orientations.
Start with your hands under your shoulders in a standard downward-facing Plank Pose. Make sure to keep your legs strong and straight and gently tuck in your tailbone to activate your lower belly.
If the pose is rough on the wrists, lower to the forearms, keeping elbows under shoulders. If it’s rough on the lower back, lower to the knees, keeping your tailbone gently tucked and lower belly activated. Either position will be a challenge as you stabilize your core. Stay for 5–15 breaths, up to 1 minute.