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desertmountain 03-10-2010 04:31 PM

What Core & Ab exercises do you use
I need to strengthen my core and am really out of shape. Are the core muscles the same as abs? Can you recommend some good exercises that target the core muscles? Thanks!

Lizzycritter 03-10-2010 04:38 PM

Core includes abs, but also back and obliques (your sides). I guarantee Pilates will kick your butt in that area lol. I still haven't seen the changes in shape I want, I have some issues in that area thanks to my last pregnancy, but a definite change in strength and posture.

cjohnson728 03-10-2010 09:55 PM

Yeah, what Lizzy said...

I do basic crunches, reverse crunches, double crunches (basic and reverse at the same time), bicycle crunches, and plank twists; that's all I can remember right now. I am working on side planks but I can only do about ten in a row because they are really hard for me. Pushups and plank stuff (like plank rows) also work your core. I have used Pilates too and did notice a difference. I am finally seeing some abs so it is worth the pain :rolleyes:!

You can probably get pics on how to do any you're not familiar with from Google, or from an exercise book.

cjohnson728 03-11-2010 02:39 AM

Add scissor kicks (legs up, laying on back, scissor legs back and forth over and under each other) and pelvic lifts (lie on back, knees up, cross one ankle over opposite knee, lift pelvis up for however many reps, not letting your bottom touch the mat in between reps; then do opposite leg over).

desertmountain 03-11-2010 08:54 PM

Thanks so much cjohnson728 & Lizzycritter. I've begun slowly incorporating some of these core/ab exercises into my daily workouts. I googled the names of those cjohnson728 to find out how to do them. You Tube and some websites even have videos.

sdh1230528 03-11-2010 09:09 PM

everything cjohnson728 said, I would add

1. plank holds -hold yourself up on both elbows with your elbows, arms, and hands in front of you on the floor, arms bent at elbows - keep your body from head to feet as straight as possible. Start with 30 seconds or whatever you can do - work up to 2-3 minutes.
2. leg holds (variations also called lying leg lifts) - lie on your back, arms palms down on floor or mat, don't arch your back, raise your legs 6-12 inches and hold for 15 seconds for each repetition. Gradually increase repetitions. Works lower abs - the bottom two of the six pack.

desertmountain 03-12-2010 03:07 PM


Originally Posted by sdh1230528 (Post 5649)
Works lower abs - the bottom two of the six pack.

Uhhh, that would be the bottom of my 2 liter I guess. ;)

KimmyRocks 03-13-2010 03:17 PM

other core work suggestions
Back extensions: Back Extensions

or with a ball:
Back Exercises - Back Extensions on the Ball

Don't forget your latissimus dorsi (I think I spelled that right...?):
Back Exercises - Strength Training Exercises for the Lats and Lower Back

Dumb bell rows:
Dumbbell Rows

A strong core supports your every-day functions, improves your posture and impacts how you carry yourself. You'll have more stamina for things like long sessions at a desk, too.

desertmountain 03-13-2010 05:54 PM

Your name says it all Kimmy...You Rock! Thanks for those links and information. The About info explains the postures really well.
You make sense about why core is so important & honestly I think I keep re-injuring my lower back and shoulders b/c my core is so flabby. In the past those injuries would always prevent the continuation of the core & ab exercises that causes the injury so it has always been a vicious cycle. This time I've been starting out with reps of 3 (starting with 1 rep a day) until I can do that rep without it causing any pain and the muscles quit quivering from weakness. Core exercises that involve the shoulders - I can't manage any of the weights & the plank exercises, yet. Not sure what to do about that. But the other exercises are coming along nicely-thanks to all the information you guys have shared with me.

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