One of the best ways to train your abdominals and core stabilizers is isometrically.. Wikipedia defines your ’core’ as: The torso. Functional movements are highly dependent on this part of the body, and lack of core muscular development can result in a predisposition to injury. The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back and peripherally include the hips, the shoulders and the neck. Isometric training refers to training muscles with a holding contraction vs a shortening or lengthening contraction.
I love to use isometric training for the core because it allows me to see weak areas and how the core muscles are working together. Typical weak areas include pelvic tilt control, rib stabilization and scapular stabilization. This can be translated to the ability to maintain a neutral pelvic tilt, fire your obliques and surrounding muscles to pull your ribs in/down and depressing and retracting your shoulder blades to a neutral position. Your pelvic floor should also fire in conjunction.
Most individuals would not know how to correctly stabilize but this exercise forces correct stabilization. Without good technique it is very difficult to hold the position. it is important to remember to stay in alignment and not rotate your torso or hips.
Power Stand with resistance tubing
- anchor a medium resistance tubing with handles just above head height
- you can use a shoelace loop just above a closed door hinge as an anchor site
- turn your back to the wall or door, grab handles and lift your arms above your head with a 90 degree angle at your elbows and your elbows lined up with your eyes
- stand with your feet in a slight split stance [feet 1 foot apart]
- stand with your knees slightly bent and quadriceps engaged
- now engage your core by pelvic tilting to neutral, scooping your ribs back/down and pulling your shoulder blades down and back
- keeping your core locked in position [shoulder and hips level], step forward one step
- focus on tucking your tailbone under to maintain your tilt
- remember to breath and hold the pose for 1 minute
- relax and repeat 2-3 sets alternating the lead foot
The exercise is ideally done at the end of the workout. You will most likely feel your triceps as you try to hold the pose and your internal & external obliques will be aching if done correctly :]. Pair this exercise with a one minute side plank and a prone elbow plank.
What will you conquer today? Start dreaming, set your fitness goals & conquer them.
Kind regards, Tracie