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3 Simple moves to a solid core

Embarrassing workout issues

A strong core can lead to something we all desire during swimsuit season - a flatter tummy or six-pack abs. But sporting a beach-worthy body isn't the only reason to get your core in shape. 

Strong core muscles will do more than make your midsection look great, they can also improve your posture, increase balance and stability and reduce back pain.

Targeting the core
Your core is more than just abdominals. It also includes the muscles in your pelvic area, hip and mid- and lower-back. These muscles work together to help you do everyday activities such as gardening, lifting your child, playing sports, doing housework and more.

Nicole Wolfe, fitness specialist at the Virtua Center for HealthFitness in Moorestown, shares three simple exercise tips that will help strengthen and tone your core muscles.

  • Start with the "world's greatest stretch"
    Always begin by warming up your muscles to avoid injury. Try the "world's greatest stretch" to loosen the entire body. While standing, go into a lunge position by moving one leg back and bend your knee to the ground. From there, lift your arms above your head and twist your torso.
    View video demonstration.


  • Start with something fun
    Now that you're limber, try a unique, fun core exercise called the "slide bridge." Grab a towel and find a hard, flat surface. Lie on your back and place the towel under your left foot, leaving your right foot planted for support. Next, lift your hips off the ground and slide your left foot away from your body and then back. Be sure to switch feet. Try anywhere from 8 to 12 reps on each foot.
    View video demonstration.


  • Don't forget the back
    You worked the front of your core, and now it's time to round out the routine with the "superman" to focus on your back muscles. While lying on your stomach, lift your chest, legs, hands and feet off of the ground in one motion and exhale. Relax and then repeat 8 to 12 times.
    View video demonstration.

"Work these into your daily fitness checklist," says Wolfe, "and get ready for the core your body needs and deserves."

NOTE: Make sure to consult a physician before starting an exercise routine.

Virtua can help you reach your fitness goals
Virtua provides three Centers for HealthFitness located in Washington Township, Voorhees and Moorestown. Each center provides comprehensive programs to reach your health and fitness goals. Virtua also provides nutrition counseling services through its Center for Weight Management. For more information, call 1-888-VIRTUA-3.

 

 


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