Technique Tuesday — Core Sequence


Hopefully by now your allegiance to the church of crunches has been shaken if not broken. For those of you in crunch rehab, here’s an anti-crunch sequence that will strengthen your deep abdominal muscles and help you practice controlling movement from your center. A block or pillow is an optional prop for this sequence.

Table top

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and arms open horizontally with your palms facing up
  • Put a block at its most narrow level between your upper inner thighs
  • Exhaling, squeeze your block and engage your core as you draw your navel toward your spine and cinch your waist
  • Keeping your low back still, bring your knees up over your hips so that they create a 90-degree angle
  • Keep hugging your belly down toward your spine and keep your low back neutral as you hold your legs there
  • Relax your neck and shoulders, and try to relax your hip flexors (take the work out of your legs and put it into your belly)
  • Hold for 3 – 5 deep breaths.

Lift and lower

  • Keep the 90-degree bend in the knees and keep squeezing your block
  • Inhaling, lower the legs just a few inches forward toward the floor
  • Exhaling, hug the belly back toward the spine as you bring your knees back over your hips
  • Keep your low back still (if you feel it arch, your movement is too big)
  • Keep moving to the rhythm of your breath, squeezing your block and using the core to control the movement of your legs
  • Keep relaxing your neck and shoulders
  • Continue for 10 – 20 reps

Side to side

  • Keep the 90-degree bend in the knees and keep squeezing your block
  • Inhaling, lower the legs just a few inches toward the right
  • Exhaling, hug the belly back toward the spine as you bring your knees back over your hips
  • Inhaling, lower the legs just a few inches toward the left
  • Exhaling, hug the belly back toward the spine as you bring your knees back over your hips
  • Keep moving to the rhythm of your breath, squeezing your block and using the core to control the movement of your legs
  • Keep relaxing your neck and shoulders
  • Continue for 10 – 20 reps

Now set your feet back down and ditch the block. Straighten your legs and reach your arms long overhead for a full body stretch to re-lengthen your abs. And see if you can take this awareness of using your core to control the movement of your legs with you…

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