I made it a goal to start training more core more often. After having three kids in three years my midsection has definitely lost the strength it once had. Push ups is a great example of how weak my core is….I can’t even perform ten without my ab area getting tired (even before my chest does!)
So here is what I’m doing:
I’m using a stopwatch (on my phone)
I start with the PLANK. It’s like a pushup but you’re not moving. I usually position myself on my elbows. Right now I can only hold it for about 30 seconds (this is a TERRIBLE number for me) But that’s what I could do! So I hold it for 30 seconds making sure I suck in my gut and I rest for 30 seconds. Sometimes I try to get to 35 seconds (without crying). I perform this for at least 4 sets.
While I am on the mat I perform SUPERMANS. I basically lay on my stomach and raise my legs and arms upward. The higher you go, the more flexible (and stronger) you are. I used to be really good. Now I can only go up maybe a couple inches. And it hurts! I sometimes hold it for 30 seconds or add some movement by moving my arms and legs up and down.
After working on my transverse abdominals (my deepest core muscle) and lower back, I focus on my outer muscles by performing:
25 toe touches (lay on back with legs straight up and I crunch up to touch my toes)
25 reverse crunches
and I repeat this three times with a minute break between sets.
SO – right now, that is my core workout. It will get harder when my core becomes stronger. Right now, my belly is pooped after that last set. I plan on doing this four times a week probably for the next month.