Let’s clear something up: your core is not your “abs.” Just as the core of an apple is the center of the fruit, your core is the center of your being, the place from which you move. Building core strength involves not only your abdominal muscles but also your side and back body as well.
Having core strength supports balance and creates a strong and functional gait. Below are two core postures and exercises to build a firm center of being. By building core strength, you create full body integrity and will move throughout the world from a place of physical and personal power.
- Plank pose: If I had to practice one pose for the rest of my life for strength, it would be plank pose. Plank pose demands total body integration and strengthens not only your core but your entire body. You can practice plank pose on your knees and receive the same benefits. Start with 10 seconds each day and build up in increments of 10 seconds until you can hold plank for a minute.
- Bridge lifts with block: Bridge lifts strengthen your entire core, and by adding a block in between your thighs, you are asked to draw in to your center line, activating deep core muscles. Start on your back in “bridge prep” with the soles of your feet at 12 o’clock (the sides of your feet parallel to the sides of your mat). Place a block in between your thighs and squeeze in. Before you lift up, slightly tuck your tailbone towards your heels, then lift up to bridge pose. Hold for a count of 10. Lower and repeat.
While most vinyasa classes contain a section in class of what I call the “ab program,” I prefer the traditional poses of plank and bridge pose. They are effective and enough!
By Liz Skarvelis; All Rights Reserved @2019