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Core Exercises

Core exercises are vital to improve or maintain your core strength. The muscles in the core of your body stabilize your body allowing you to stand up straight, bend, twist and maintain balance. In all, your core allows you to move and function properly. The more you strengthen these muscles, the longer you will be able to stay independent and complete your daily tasks with ease.

Plank Position Shoulder Taps

Start in a high plank position with your arm straight under your shoulders and feet or knees in contact with the ground. Engage your core to keep your back straight to keep your hips from sinking or raising too high up in the air. Lift one hand at a time to tap the opposite shoulder. Really pay attention to your hips and shoulders. Try to keep them square with the ground so that they do not dip from side to side.

Low Plank

Start lying on your front with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Push your hips up so that you are on your toes or your knees and keep your forearms flat on the ground. Keep your hips from sinking or raising up too high. The plank is a great core exercise but it also works the entire body to maintain a straight line from head to toes (or knees if you are doing a kneeling plank).

Bird Dogs

Start in a table top position with a 90-degree bend between your torso and your arms & hips. Keep your back flat. As you lift one arm directly in front of you, lift the opposite leg straight and directly behind you. Slowly lift and slowly lower. Complete it on the opposite sides as well. It is important to be aware of your hips and shoulders. Make sure that you keep your hips and shoulder squared and that they don’t from side to side. Really engage the core to ensure that you keep a straight and flat back.

Dead Bug

Start lying on your back. Lift your arms directly up in the air so that they are perpendicular to your back. Do the same with your legs so that you have a 90-degree bend at your hip and at the knee. Slowly lower one arm and the opposite leg to straighten out completely in line with the rest of your body without allowing your limbs to touch the ground. At the same time, make sure that you don’t lose the structure with your arm and leg that remain in the air. Engage your core to not allow your back to arch while you lower your limbs.

Bridges

Start lying on your back. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off of the ground by squeezing your glutes. Engage your core to allow you to keep your hips from sinking. Keep your back nice and straight from your shoulders, through your hips to your knees.

Julia de Reijke RKin, CSEP-CPT, BASc Kinesiology (Hons), DipFTHP

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