Updated: Apr 3, 2019
When I teach beginning classes, students always asks what can they do at home to help get a stronger core on the pole or for any aerial endeavor. The major core muscles are the Rectus Abdominus, Obliques and Transverse Abdominus and the Low Back muscle complex. We want to strengthen all these areas and find balance as we build these muscles. It is easy to forget the low back or the obliques, but we want to always include them in core workout. There are so many core strengthening exercises in the world, but today let’s look at 3 exercises you can do to strengthen the core at home.
Lift Ups with a Twist
Use a pole, leg of a sofa, doorway or anything that you can hold to help support you in this move. Begin with the knees tucked and roll up from the abs and try to touch the knees to the pole or door frame. With control roll back down. MAKE SURE you are not lifting from the legs and hip flexors, this is a pilates-style roll from the low abs up. It should be slow and hard. The next step is to roll-up ( still with bend knees) and twist the knees side to side, again slowly with control, come back to center and roll down. The final step is to do this move with straight legs. If you feel it in your legs or if you are using momentum to get up, you are cheating yourself the ab work. Again this should be really hard.
Try 8 to 10 reps 2 times to begin
This move is for the low back, but can also work surrounding muscles like glutes and hamstrings. Lay face down on the floor, arms by the sides, the first step is to just lift the arms and chest off the ground, leave the lower body out of the equation. Try five of these holding for a few seconds on the lift, then rest the arms and chest. Now just engage and lift the legs holding for a few seconds and lowering with control. Try five. All these movements should be controlled. For the full locust, lift first the arms and chest and then add the legs. Think about extending the arms and legs away from the center of the body. Hold 5 to 10 seconds. Release with control. Start with 5 and build up stamina.
Personal Trainer’s Secret - 2 Minute Abs
This little gem is a two-minute work interval that works all the front body abs into a delightful burn. How it works: Set up a timer for 2 minutes, begin with 20 seconds of the double leg extensions, then 20 seconds of criss cross and then 20 seconds of regular crunches. Then repeat the cycle, totaling 2 minutes.
The idea with this interval is to do as many good reps of each exercise in the allotted 20 seconds with good form. REPEAT Good Form. It is ok to take a break in the middle if you need too. As you get stronger, you will simply do more of each exercises and still get the full ab burnout.