Core training is absolutely essential for so many reasons! The biggest reason being our core assists in all of our day to day movements and functions. As well as our daily activities, core strength supports all of our workouts and big lifts. Having a strong core leads to optimal balance and stability, which equals better performance!
There are so many fantastic core exercises, you will never get bored! My favourite core exercises are;
Commando plank (challenges the upper body as well as the core, win win!)
Leg raises, targeting the lower abdominal muscles,
Side plank pulses (targeting those obliques!)
Walkout into shoulder taps (targets the upper body as well and gets the heart rate up!)
Not sure where to start? Why not try adding 5 minutes of CORE work at the end of each of your workouts - select your favourite core workouts and challenge yourself to do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP!) Why not try the below;
20 sit ups
20 bicycle crunches
20 russian twists
Repeat for 5 minutes, that’s right - no rest! Of course if you need to take a breather then definitely do, but see how many sets you can do in 3 minutes. As you get more confident you could add more moves in or increase the time so you are challenging yourself each time.
Who should avoid any core exercises?
Any pre and postnatal ladies should be careful around core workouts - before performing any exercise they should speak to a specialist in this area. Personally for my prenatal and postnatal clients, I do give them core exercises to do but I ensure they are performing these exercises safely and correctly.
How to perform core exercises correctly and safely in pregnancy
So here is my professional advice as a pre and postnatal qualified personal trainer!
Start off by ensuring you have nice soft knees, relaxed shoulders and your pelvis is tucked under
Take a nice deep breath in and fill the diaphragm with air
As you breathe out, you want to imagine you are pulling your belly button into your spine, whilst keeping the pelvis tucked under or imagine you are blowing up a balloon!
Your abdominal muscles (TVA) should be fully engaged and switched on at this point and you will be safe to perform pregnancy safe exercises.
Nb: Avoid any ‘crunching’ exercises and avoid any exercises that require you to lie on your back. Please consult a GP before doing any exercise in pregnancy.