Friday, October 19, 2012

Free Workout Friday - 3 Great Core Moves


What does it take to get a ripped set of abs?

What does it take to get a healthy core?

Those are two very separate goals.  Getting a ripped set of abs is all about how it looks.  Sure, those muscles will be strong, and probably functional as well, but a lot goes into showing off that "6-pack" including, but not limited to a lean body fat % and often hours in the gym.

On the other hand, a healthy core is based on the fact that our vertebrae (which is part of the skeletal system) supports the entire body.  Our muscular system, in turn, supports the bones, keeping them in place, protecting them from shifting out of place with use or injury. Therefore, a strong core helps maintain "functional" strength, improves posture and protects us from injury.

Today's Free Workout Friday is about a strong, healthy core, not about ripped abs.  With three simple moves, you can add strength and support to your vertebrae and your posture.

Total time:  10 minutes (although this workout can be increased to 20 minutes easily)

  • Plank
  • Superman
  • Swimmer

The beauty of these moves are that they can be adapted in numerous ways for beginner, intermediate and advanced fitness abilities.  Complete descriptions can be found on the Abdominal Workout 2 on my website.

Here are some awesome variations:
  1. Beginner:  Do each move for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds.  Repeat 5x, gradually increasing to 10x as you gain more strength, for a 10 minute workout.
  2. Intermediate:  Do each move for 20 seconds.  Repeat 10x for a 10 minute workout.
  3. Advanced:  Do each move for 1 minute each.  Repeat 5x for a 15 minute workout.
  4. Beginner Core/Cardio:  Choose option #1 above, and alternate between the 1 minute of core (10 seconds core:  10 seconds rest), with 1 minute of cardio (walk/bike/run).  Repeat 5-10x for a 10-20 minute core/cardio workout.
  5. Intermediate Core/Cardio:  Choose option #2 above, and alternate between 1 minute of core and 1 minute of cardio for a 20 minute workout.
  6. Advanced Core/Cardio:  Choose option #3 above, and alternate between 3 minutes of core and 3 minutes of cardio.  Completing 5 sets will give you a 30 minute workout.
  7. Intermediate/Advanced:  Perform plank and swimmer moves on a stability ball.  Plank on your forearms on the ball.  Superman on the floor or mat.  Swimmer on the ball.  You can also use a BOSU (1/2 round/1/2 flat) and do all 3 moves on the BOSU.
As always, if you have any questions, please send me an email at

Living 365fitt,

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