Core activation is a fundamental part of any workout program. It primes the muscles that line and support your core, promotes stability in the spine and hips, and enables you to connect with your breath. A strong core means less back & hip pain, better posture, more range of motion and reduced risk of injury. To perform these 8 exercises, you'll need a small deflated ball and a stability or yoga ball.
Place the ball just below the shoulder blades in the center of your back. Inhale to press your head into your hands while keeping your elbows wide, then exhale to lift up through the chest and into your abdominal curl. Keep your tailbone pressing firmly into the mat and avoid initiating this movement through the head or neck.
Place the ball underneath your sacrum and find a tabletop position, keeping your arms on the mat and by your side. Inhale to begin, exhale to slowly tap one toe toward the ground. Note: the further away you tap, the more challenging the exercise becomes.
With the ball underneath your sacrum, your hands behind your head, and your legs extended to the sky, lift the shoulders up as you lower the legs to 45 degrees. Keep the legs extended and only go as low as you can without letting the low back arch.
Place the ball between your thighs, just above the knees and find your quadruped position. Tuck the toes under as you hover the knees up, squeezing gently into the ball. You can hold the hover, or alternate between tapping the knees and hovering. Keep a slight bend in the elbows and think about pressing the floor away to remain stable through the back of the shoulders and long throughout your spine.
Wedge the ball between your hands and thighs in a tabletop position. Keep your right hand and left knee firmly pressing into the ball as you extend your left arm and right leg. Repeat using the opposite arm and leg. Take these slow to maintain control throughout the hips and low back.
Lying on your back in tabletop, inhale to press your elbows and thighs into the ball. On your exhale, press your elbows and knees even harder into the ball while lifting up through the shoulders and remaining heavy through the tailbone.
PLANK TO PIKE
With your hands on the ground and your feet on the ball, inhale to roll yourself out into a plank position so the ball is just below the shins. On your exhale, lift your hips up into a pike while keeping your legs extended. Avoid shifting your weight past your shoulders or rounding the back.
Place your elbows onto the ball and form an eleven with your forearms. Lift up into your plank as you squeeze your glutes and draw the naval toward your spine. Option to hold here or start to circle the elbows for an added challenge to your stability.
Tried these exercises but still not confident you've done them correctly? Schedule a one-on-one session with one of our knowledgeable trainers who can guide you into your best form and help you get the most out of your workouts.