365 Challenge Day 6 – Core

21 May

One of my important goals for this year (and every year!) is to really, really, really work on core strength.  This one is not about vanity, it is 100% about health and well-being!

A couple of years ago my back started to really hurt, well… I may have hurt it by overdoing king dancer pose… and I went to physical therapy.  I was very surprised when my PT tested my core strength at how weak I was!  The thing was I could do many of the balancing poses in yoga that they say require core.  As it turns out, I had been doing them without engaging the core, but by sinking into my back in uncomfortable and damaging ways.  My hip flexor muscles were also in knots from sitting in the office all day every day, affecting my back, but that’s another story.

During that period I also saw an orthopedic surgeon and a chiropractor. They showed me how two of my vertebrae were nearly touching, had lost most of the cushion between them, and had some arthritis (arthritis!?!?!  way to make me feel old!!)  But here’s the thing, doing the PT exercises actually helped.  Once I strengthened those muscles supporting the back the pain went away.  Now when I do my balancing poses, I can feel when I’m locking into and engaging the core muscles.

So far since I started my challenge I have done my exercises every day, and tonight I did some extra.  I don’t usually count when doing these, I just keep going until I get tired.  But tonight I counted so I would have a bit of a baseline.  I would say I usually do about 100 or 120 reps all together. While laying on my back I did 35 leg lifts on each side, then 40 alternating with both knees bent.  Tonight I also did about 40 slow bicycles, but I don’t usually do those. Oh, and I did plank and side plank on both sides, each for a slow count of 10.  Every day might be overly optimistic going forward, but I would like to do most days.  And at home I’ll add ankle weights to the leg lifts (don’t worry, I have my PT’s permission : )

I like to plank on my elbows to protect my wrists.

woman-plank

photo credit: rawrebecca.files.wordpress.com

Side plank exercisephoto credit: fitgolf.com

 

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One Response to “365 Challenge Day 6 – Core”

  1. mybodymytime May 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

    The strong core is so important

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