Our core not only keeps our bodies in steady alignment, but our core also keeps us centred and connected to our whole body. Right from the top of your skull, to your fingertips and toes. When we have a strong core, it gives us an even greater capacity to find ease and fluidity in all movements, and enhance our overall flexibility. Plus, when we work our core, we condition and tone the rest of our body. Here, you can feed two birds with one seed.
To make things easy for you, we’ve compiled a few simple exercises that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help cultivate a strong core. Don’t worry, you don’ t have to be like Darcy in the photo above. 😉
Works core, glutes, and hamstrings
Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet standing hip-width apart and flat on the floor. Grab the backs of your thighs and draw your navel inwards towards your spine, so your torso forms a C. Keeping your back rounded, slowly roll back as low as you can with your feet planted on the floor. Take three deep breaths. Return to start. Repeat twice without resting.
2) Double-Leg Stretch
Works core, shoulders, back, glutes, and legs
Lay on your back, and bring your knees toward your chest and grab your shins. Brace your abs. As you lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor, extend your legs. Hold them about 12 inches off the floor and straighten your arms over your head with your palms up. Bring your knees back up to your chest and grab your legs again. This is 1 rep, and you can start with 8.
3) Side Leg Circles
Works core and inner and outer thighs
Lie on your right side with your right upper arm on the floor and your head resting on your right hand. With knees straight, bend at your hips so your legs and torso form a slight angle. Raise your left leg 6 to 8 inches and make 8 small forward circles from the hip, raising the leg higher with each one. From the highest point, make 8 more small circles in the other direction as you lower the leg to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 3 and then repeat on the other side.
4) Spine Twist
Works shoulders, obliques, back, glutes, and legs
Sit with your legs extended in front of you, knees straight and toes pointing up. Extend your arms to the sides at shoulder height, palms down. Twist your upper body as far as you can to the left without compromising your posture or shifting your hips or legs. Pulse twice, reaching farther to the left each time. Return to centre and repeat the move to the right. That’s 1 rep; do 5. To make it more challenging and if you have a couple of weights handy, you can hold a 2-or 3-pound weight in each hand.
One of the best things about these exercises is that you can do them pretty much anywhere, any time. No equipment necessary! They are great to start your day with first thing in the morning to energize your body, at the beach, in a park or next to your bed before you crash for the eve 😉 And if you’d like to read up more extensively on these exercises, read here.
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