Core Exercises

by Jeff Godin Ph.D., CSCS, Director of Spartan Coaches

 

Crunches

–      Lay in the supine position with the knees bent at 90 degrees and the feet flat on the floor. The hands are interlaced behind the neck and the elbows are out. Slowly curl the torso upwards, until the shoulder blades are about an inch or two off of the floor. Slowly return to the start position. Don’t pull on the neck while doing this exercise; keep the elbows back and the head and neck in a neutral position.

Bicycles

–      Lay in the supine position with the legs extended and the hands interlaced behind the neck. Crunch up slightly and hold. While holding the crunch position, flex the right hip and knee and rotate the torso so that the left elbow moves towards the right knee. Repeat with the opposite leg and continue until the desired repetitions have been reached.

Back Scratchers

–      Lay in the supine position with the knees bent at 90 degrees and the feet flat on the floor. The arms are straight by the side. Curl up so that the shoulder blades are just off of the floor and tuck the chin in to take stress off of the neck. Laterally flex the spine from side to side touching one heel and then the other.

Rotating Crunch

–      Lay in the supine position with the knees bent at 90 degrees and the feet flat on the floor. Flex the right hip and place the right foot on the left knee. The right knee should be pointing outward. The right arm is straight by the side. Place the left hand behind the head with the left elbow pointing out to the side. Curl up and rotate towards the right knee. Keep the elbow out, think about bringing the left shoulder towards the right knee.  Perform the desired number of repetitions and then switch to the other side.

Leg Lowers

–      Lay in the supine position with the legs extended, and the arms straight by the side. Begin by flexing the knees and hips moving the knees towards the chest. Once the hips are fully flexed, extend the knees and slowly lower the straightened legs to the floor. When the feet are about six inches from the floor repeat the sequence.  The key during this exercise is to maintain a neutral lower spine throughout the movement. Brace the stomach muscles as if someone was going to punch you in the gut. Keep the back from arching.

Scissor kicks

–      Lay in the supine position with the legs extended, and the arms straightened by the side.  Raise the legs so that the feet are about 12 inches off of the floor. Open and close the legs for one repetition. The key during this exercise is to maintain a neutral lower spine throughout the movement. Brace the stomach muscles as if someone was going to punch you in the gut. Keep the back from arching,

Side crunch

–      Lay in the supine position with the knees bent at 90 degrees and the feet flat on the floor. Roll the hips to one side, but keep both shoulders flat on the floor. Crunch up by lifting the shoulders off of the floor. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then repeat on the other side.

Vertical toe touches

–      Start with the legs straight but flexed at the hip so they form a 90 degree angle. The feet should be pointed towards the ceiling. Crunch up and try and reach the toes. The shoulder blades should come off the floor by about 6 inches. Perform the repetitions under control. Tuck the chin to prevent straining of the neck.

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