Having a strong core isn’t all about having the perfectly toned belly. Did you know that every time you pick up groceries, your kids or a laundry basket you rely on your core as the foundation? Strengthening your core will also help to give some relief for lower back pain, but crunches are not the best exercise for that. Work ALL the muscles in your core to relieve back pain, improve posture and develop strength for day-to-day chores, by doing the 10 minute no-crunch core workout below three times a week.
So say goodbye to crunches and hello to a stronger core with this 10 minute no-crunch core workout!
Equipment required: Yoga mat, stop watch. Optional: Balance ball.
Do each exercise for 1 minute with a 20 second break between each exercise.
Core Contraction – 1 min
While seated tall on a chair, bench, or couch, contract your abs for as long as you can while continuing to breathe. Release and repeat until you’ve been doing this for 1 min.
Seated Leg Lifts – 1 min
Sit on a balance ball, with your legs bent at 90 degrees in front of you. Keep your core tightened and lean back slightly, so you’re able to place your hands on either side of your ball. Take a deep breath and lift one leg six inches off the ground. Hold for five seconds, and then put it down. Repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating for one-minute straight. If you find balancing on the ball too difficult, this same exercise can be done while sitting on a chair, bench or couch.
Straight-Leg Seated Russian Twist – 1 min
Sit on your yoga mat with your legs extended and arms straight. Twist your torso to the right, bringing your arms down to your right side, then lift your arms and twist to your left, bringing your arms down to your left side. Continue twisting for 1 minute.
Bird dog – 1 min (repeat for 30 seconds on each side)
On all fours with hands under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips, bring your opposite elbow under your body to touch your knee, then extend your leg back while contracting your backside, and extend your arm forward. Keep your neck soft and neutral. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.
Hamstring bridges – 1 min (30 second hold, 30 second alternating leg lifts)
Lay flat on your back on your yoga mat with your arms by your sides and your knees bent. Place your feet about shoulder width apart. Push through your heels to lift your hips off of the floor while keeping your back strait. Hold this position for 30 seconds while continuing to breathe.
For the second 30 seconds, slowly alternate lifting one leg off of the floor and extending it straight out.
Trunk rotation – 1 min
Lie on your back on your mat. Raise legs and thighs so that your hips and knees both form 90 degree angles. Rotate thighs and legs from one side to the other side for one minute, keeping knees together and your abs tight.
Supermans – 1 min
Lie face down on your stomach with your arms extended out in front of you and the legs extended straight behind you. In one movement, lift your arms and legs up towards the ceiling making a U shape. Hold for 2-5 seconds and then lower back down. Repeat for 1 minute.
Have fun doing this workout, your core and back will thank you!