Back to The Core, Part II
By Ryan Manuel, BS, a ACSM Health Fitness Specialist & Erik Heywood, BS, CSCS, CES, a Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor at III Pillars
The core is a very dynamic system of small and large muscle groups working in concert to keep the body moving. Training this dynamic system requires us to work against a load statically and dynamically and through all 3 dimensions. In most cases, gravity alone provides just the right amount of resistance. Mix gravity, body position, and the right movements together and we are in for an exercise treat!
In the last article, ‘Back to the Core’, we described a pelvic coordination and core stabilization exercise. Both of the previous exercises were performed laying on the floor back-side down (supine). Now, we are taking the same principles of the previous exercises, but in a prone position on both hands and knees (also known as horse stance).
The first exercise is called the scared cat and camel. This pelvic coordination exercise is good for learning how to control your pelvis in an anterior tilt and posterior tilt. This exercise is very similar to the supine pelvic tilts, but a little more challenging since the floor doesn’t provide direct feedback and support to the spine and pelvis.
To begin, place both hands directly under the shoulders and the knees directly below the hip joints. In the start position, the spine should not be tense, and in a neutral position (natural curvature of each section of the spine). Begin by tucking your tailbone down and under. This movement will create a rounding of your spine resembling a scared cat. Next, turn your tailbone upwards. This movement will arch the spine resembling the look of a camel. Repeat both tilts for 10 repetitions and then find neutral again.
The next exercise is the contralateral limb raise. This core stabilization exercise uses the weight of the limbs to create tension against the core and the supporting muscles of the limbs. It’s a great exercise that loads both the front and back, and especially across the muscles of the core.
The contralateral limb raise begins just like the scared cat and camel. Once you have established a neutral position lift one arm and the opposing leg in line with the spine. Keeping your spine balanced, hold for a few seconds then switch to the other limbs. If lifting an arm and leg is difficult, try lifting only one limb at a time. Repeat each side for 10 times each side.
We’ve created a few videos that sum up this information. If you’d like to see videos of the above exercises plus progressions of the contralateral limb raise exercise, please visit http://www.youtube.com/user/eheywood3p#p/u