Inspire to be better

Instead of waiting for an injury or waiting to have pain before addressing a weakness, why not keep your core strong and efficient so you can help prevent injuries and stay STRONG 😉

While performing these exercises, be sure to focus on the CORRECT FORM; this is not a “no pain, no gain” type of workout. ALWAYS work on quality over quantity with every single rep.  If the exercise feels too hard, or if you feel like you cannot correctly hold the position, try holding for less time at first.  You can work up to longer holds as you get stronger in the exercise!

1.)  Plank with upper extremity reach

planking with upper extremity reach

To get started, get into a plank on elbows position with your chest lined up in between your elbows.  Push yourself away from the ground and make sure you are not over extending your neck (if you feel like you are using your neck too much, try stretching your head away from your butt while trying to maintain a neutral spinal position).

Lift one arm off of the ground and hold it in the air for 10 seconds while maintaining the neutral spine position. Next, switch arms, but do not allow your spine to lose its position (do not let your hips or shoulders rotate during the transition).

Sets/Reps: 1 set of 8 with a 10 second hold on each side.


2.)  Plank with Lower Extremity Reach

planking with lower extremity reach

Start in a plank on elbows position; keeping the same neutral spine as the previous exercise, lift one leg (about 1-2 inches off of the ground) inch) and hold it in the air for 10 seconds.

Again, make sure your chest is lined up between your elbows, and make sure your neck is in a neutral vs over extended position. Repeat 8 times for a 10 second hold on each leg.  Make sure to keep your core tight, try not to lose your spinal position during the transition from one side to the other.

Sets/Reps: 1 set of 8 with a 10 second hold on each side.


3.)  Dead Bug

demonstration of deadbug exercise

Start on your back with your arms and legs in the air in a table-top position.  Lower your right arm and left leg down and hover them over the floor (but do not touch the floor); hold for 10 seconds while maintaining a neutral spine.

Repeat on the other side and perform 10 reps total on each side. Try not to let your lower back lift off of the ground while you are lowering your arms and legs.

Sets/Reps: 1 set 10 with a 10 second hold on each side.


4.)  Bridge

demonstration of bridge exercise

While on your back, with your knees bent and feet on the ground, lift your butt off of the ground and hold it in the air for 10 seconds.  In this position, your ribs will want to flair and you may feel pressure in your lower back.  If that is the case, pretend you are wearing a belt and curl your belt buckle to your face. This will help you get back to a neutral spinal position so you work what you should be working vs compensate into your back.

You should not feel back pain or pressure with any of these exercises. If you do, discontinue the exercise and discuss with your physical therapist to make sure you are doing them correctly.

Sets/Reps: 1 set of 10 with a 10 second hold on each side.


5.)  Modified Side plank with leg lift

demonstration of modified side plank with leg lift

Start in a side plank on elbow position with your bottom leg bent and top leg straight. Keeping your elbow underneath your armpit, push yourself away from the ground while lifting your hips and top leg towards the ceiling; hold in the air for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 times on each side.

If the exercise is too hard, hold for less time or use your top hand to push off of the ground to help assist the rest of your body.  Make sure you to keep your head in a neutral position.

Sets/Reps: 1 set of 8 with a 10 second hold on each side.

Remember, a strong core is not just about looking good! A strong and efficient core can help you prevent injury while correctly recruiting more muscle fibers during your workouts vs compensating into a stronger, already overused muscle. Learn about your body and what you can do to keep it feeling great! ALWAYS inspire to be better 😉

Meet Our Expert:  Dr. Jena Gatses PT, LMT, SFMA, CSCS

Dr Jena Gatses

Owner and Operator of Scientific Fitness LLC since 2012 with over 15 years of experience in the health and fitness industry: Strength Coach, Athlete, Physical Therapist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Model, Author, Program/Facility & Product Design Consultant to a Wide Range of Clientele: Celebrities, Professional Athletes, Elite CEO’s, Elderly, Youth Population, Olympic Athletes, MLB, UFC, Professional Boxing, Professional Olympic Weightlifting, Track & Field, NFL, Marathon/Ironman Athletes, Rugby, etc.

As well as the General Population Dealing with Geriatrics, Neurological & Degenerative Brain Disease, Pediatrics & Cardiac ICU, Youth Sports & Performance, Skilled Nursing, Burn & Trauma ICU, and more!

Dr. Jena strives to spread knowledge and make people better by helping them realize and use their full potential through awareness and education.  She feels we should make our health a PRIORITY! J



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