We’ve been bashing crunches all month. So how do I whittle my middle without my go-to move, you ask? Time to shift your focus to functional core strength, which means locating and activating the deep stabilizing muscles that live beneath your six-pack and power your movement while supporting your posture. Try it: Spinal balance
This is one of our favorite core strengtheners. It looks nothing like the crunches you may be familiar with but don’t worry, this move gets the job done! Our spinal balance strengthens your Transversus Abdominus (TVA) — the deepest and most important of your core muscles — as well as the muscles that run vertically along your spine. The result? Improved balance and ability to hold your limbs up, and of course, a tighter, stronger core.
- Come onto all fours with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees
- Look at the ground so that the back of your neck is long and neutral
- Lift your navel toward your spine (in other words draw in your belly) and draw your ribs together
- Extend your right leg long behind you with your right hip and your flexed right foot still pointing at the ground
- Reach your left arm forward alongside your ear (opposite arm to the leg you’ve extended) with your thumb pointing up
- Keep looking at the ground
- Inhaling, reach even longer back through the right heel and forward through the left hand
- Exhaling lift the belly and narrow your waist even more
- Inhaling, lengthen your lifted arm and leg even more
- Exhaling, get even narrower through your waist
- Hold for 5+ deep breaths
- Switch sides and repeat a few more times!