The Secret of Long-term Strength, Balance… and Confidence
A lot of folks will probably decide to make this the year they “finally get in shape.” Unfortunately, their decision to take up jogging, lift weights or some other form of exercise will probably leave out some of the most important muscle in your body… your core.
Over the years, I’ve learned that most people who want to get in shape – or even just look better – focus on their abdominals. Your abs are important, but your core contains many other muscles that are just as important. And most exercises simply don’t give them a good workout.
Here’s why that matters to you…
Your “core” is comprised of several groups of muscles. Besides your abs, it includes your obliques, your diaphragm and even your pelvic floor – among others. But you don’t have to know what all theses muscles are to make them stronger.
Strengthening your core does more than give you a “six-pack.” When your core muscles are in good shape, you have better balance… you’re more stable… you can walk with more confidence… and you may even find you experience less back pain.
Virtually everything you do uses your core. Walking, bending over, reaching, turning… Your ability to do all of these with ease depends on a strong core.
Here are a few simple move that will help you keep your core strong. To begin, do three sets of five, two or three times a week. Work your way gradually to three sets of fifteen.
- Lie on the floor on your back, your arms out to your sides at a 45° angle to your body. Slide your feet towards your buttocks until your back is flat on the floor.
- Raise your buttocks up off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for five seconds, then slowly lower your body back down.
- Start in the same position as for Butt Lifts, keeping your legs together.
- Keep your shoulders on the floor and slowly lower your knees to the right by swiveling at the hips. Go as far as you comfortably can.
- Bring your knees back to the start position and lower them to your left – still keeping your shoulders on the floor. Again, lower your knees only as far as is comfortable.
- Bring your knees slowly back to the start position.
- Lie face down on the floor, as if you were going to do a pushup. But raise yourself up into the “pushup” position on your elbows and forearms, instead of your hands.
- In the raised position, your elbows should be under your shoulders, your forearms resting on the floor. Hold your back straight.
- After five seconds, lower yourself back to the floor.
Side Plank (Follow these steps for both sides. Note: Don’t try to do planks as if they were pushups. Getting into position isn’t as important as holding the correct posture.)
- Lie on the floor your side, feet and legs together. Raise yourself onto your elbow and forearm, with your elbow directly below your shoulder. Your body should be straight from your ankles to your shoulder.
- Hold this position for five seconds with your non-supporting arm resting on your side.
- Lower yourself back to your starting position.
- Lie on the floor on your back. Rest your feet flat against a wall or door, so your knees are bent at a 90° angle. Fold your arms across your chest.
- Use your abdominal muscles to raise your head and shoulders off the floor as far as you comfortably can. But don’t jerk yourself upwards.
- Hold for five seconds and lower yourself back to the starting position.
You can perform these moves virtually anywhere – no gym or special equipment required. But if you do them faithfully, just two or three times a week, you can build a core as strong as any gym rat’s.
You’ll move more easily, more confidently. You’ll also lower your risk of injury and back pain. And increase your chances of staying healthy and independent for a long time to come.
Finally – contrary to popular belief – there’s one thing these moves can’t do. And that’s instantly trimming your belly. Strengthening muscles won’t do that. To get rid of those stubborn love handles, try a nutritional supplement such as Hoodia.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team