5 Essential Core Strength Exercises, with Kate Slegrova

Improve your balance, stability and overall trunk strength with this simple routine.

Core strength training does not have to be complicated and can be done in the comfort (and convenience) of your home. Ultimately, time spent building core strength creates a more harmonious power delivery system, better balance and improved stability on the bike. This essential core routine should be done 2 or 3 times per week. Aim for 4 sets with about 6 to 10 repetitions.

PLANK

Keep the body flat and the core tight with a slight kink in the knees. Hold the position for the allotted time. 15 seconds to 1 minute is good. 1 to 3 minutes is very good. More than that is excellent. Keep the elbows at 90 degrees. Variation: Lift one leg up then slowly lower it to the floor before alternating.


PUSH UP

Place your hands underneath your shoulders. Keeping the core tight, lower yourself until your nose is on the floor. Push up from the floor to the starting position. Do not let your hips sag and aim for a controlled (slower) pace. Variation: Spider Push Up: During the down movement lift one foot off the ground and bring your knee out to the side and up towards your shoulder.


SUPERMAN

Lie face down, with your legs straight and your arms stretched out in front of you. Keeping your core flat on the ground, lift your left arm and right leg off the floor. Hold (pause) the raised position for about 2 seconds before lowering to the floor. Keep your head neutral with your spine and don’t strain your neck. Variation: Try raising the left leg and left arm, then alternating to the right limbs. This will highlight and work to correct any imbalances.


SIDE PLANK

Start on your side with your feet together and one arm directly underneath your shoulder. Keeping your core tight, raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from feet to your head. Hold the position for the allotted time. 15 sec to 1 minute is good. 1 to 3 minutes is very good. More than that is excellent. Repeat on the other side. Variation: Bring your upper arm down under your body, twisting your upper body as you reach behind. Hold the twist for one count then rotate back to start.


SUPINE BRIDGE

Lie on your back with knees bent, arms by your sides. Lift the hips off the ground, driving from your heels. Exhale at the top. In a slow and controlled movement lower the hips to the floor and repeat. Variation: Front the start position, lift one leg and hold it up. Now, lift the hips from the floor and then slowly lower again. Complete one side before alternating.


| WITH THANKS: LARA FAY Activewear & Virgin Active Gym |

| KATE SLEGROVA is a personal trainer & cycling coach. @kateslegrova @pretty_pedal |


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