Core Exercises: Where to Begin and How To Progress

Core Exercises: Where to Begin and How to Progress 

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While there are certainly no shortage of core exercises posted on webpages and social media accounts, it’s sometimes hard to get a baseline on where you should begin and which of those exercises are appropriate for you.

For that reason we’re posting a series of videos that will help you determine if you are a beginner, experienced, or a master of your core.

A beginner level core exercise is a side plank hip raise. This will help build up core strength while also helping your balance and shoulder stability. Simply start on your side, forearm on the ground, and raise your hips up off the ground, attempting to hold the top position for 3 seconds for 10 reps. As you progress with this and are able to maintain the top of your side plank you can advance it by now tapping your hip down to the ground. And a final stage of difficulty would be to add a twist while you reach under with the top hand after performing the hip tap.

For the intermediate or experienced level of core training let’s look at the inchworm and some progressions on that. Named the inchworm for its resemblance to the movement of an inchworm, you are simply starting in plank, walking your feet in toward your hands so your hips hike up in the air, and then walking your hands out to return to your plank. So you will be inching forward as you perform these. Once you have a solid grasp on this movement you can kick it up a notch. Instead of walking your feet in toward your hands, give 3 little hops in and then 3 little hops back out to return to your plank. For these you will be staying in place. A great way to make these extra challenging is to go 3 hops in and 3 hops out for 20 seconds, then switch to 2 hops in and 2 hops back out for 20 seconds, and then finish with one big hop in and one big hop back out for the last 20 seconds.

Finally, for our advanced readers who have some really solid core control, we have progressive toe taps in plank. Start at one end of a yoga mat in plank. Start by tapping your foot up by your hand and then return it back to plank position. Tap the same foot out about a foot further out on the yoga mat and then back, and then tap the same toe all the way out as far as you can on the yoga mat and then back. And now reverse the taps, starting with the tap all the way out, then middle, then up by your hand. From here, perform up-downs to get yourself to the other side of the yoga mat and repeat the same progression with the other foot. See how many times you can make it back and forth across the mat before your core burns out. And don’t forget to stretch after!

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