A Quick Way to Activate Your Core
Want to feel a change in your core? Try this simple exercise each day for a week. Lying down on your back, bring your legs into chair position: knees are over hips, feet are lifted, calves parallel to the floor, legs squeezing together. Pull your navel actively into your spine (this supports your lower back.) Draw your ribs in and together, almost like you are trying to fuse your ribs together. (For more on this, check out our blog post from 9/13 here http://www.targetpilates.com/breathe.) Imagine that you have a grape between your lower back and the floor. Pull your ab muscles in tight enough that you put slight pressure on that grape, but don’t crush it. From this position as you inhale, feel the ribs expanding to the sides and to the back. As you exhale, draw the ribs tight together and contract your lower abdominals in, navel to spine. Continue to breathe this way, but see if you can hold this chair position for 60 seconds, 90 seconds if you want more of a challenge. This exercise is effective for beginning and advanced students, although if you want a more advanced variation, try doing it as you lie on a foam roller. (No cheating though! Arms will rest on your abdomen, do not let arms or hands be in contact with the floor.) Get a foam roller by clicking here.