Busy Parent Fitness Challenge - Day 14: Core

by - Sunday, October 26, 2014

In addition to slimming your waistline, working your core can help combat lower back pain, a problem common to many who sit at a desk all day or have gone through childbirth and stretched out muscles you didn't know you had. Today we're going to do a different kind of crunch and supine vacuums to draw in the waistline, and leg raises for the lower abs. If you are exercising on a hard uncarpeted floor, use a yoga mat or folded blanket to be kind to your spine.

1. Criss Cross Crunches: Start in crunch starting position. Breathe out, draw your navel to spine, and lift your right elbow to your left knee while drawing your left knee in (knee should be over hip). Your other leg can float extended a few inches off the floor. Hold briefly, inhale while lowering down, then crunch again lifting your left elbow to right knee, with right leg extended and floating slightly off the floor. Do 30 (15 per side). 

Criss Cross Crunch - start position
Right elbow to left knee
Left elbow to right knee
2. Supine Vacuum: Get into crunch starting position. Exhale and pull your belly button down toward your spine. Now the tricky part - HOLD for 15 seconds. (If you are able to, hold the vacuum for 20 or 30 seconds.) Do 5.

Supine Vacuum - Inhale
Supine Vacuum - Exhale and hold
3. Lying Leg Raises: Lie flat on your back with your hands at your sides. Slide hands, palms down, beneath your lower back / top of butt cheeks. Keep your legs straight, with feet flexed (toes pointing up), and slowly raise your legs up so ankles, knees and hips form a straight line. Lower your legs slowly using your hands to cushion your lower back. Do 10, take a break, then do 2 more sets of 10 (total: 30). 

Lying Leg Raise - start position
Lower legs slowly
Almost there - feel the burn
Take a moment and repeat
Do you have a favorite ab exercise you'd like to recommend? Please let me know. I love comments!

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