Weekend Challenge: Seated Core And Oblique Strengthener
I can’t wait to bring you this weekend’s challenge, which is done right from a chair – talk about convenient!
It’s great to practice seated exercises to strengthen your bones and muscles, but let’s not forget that excessive sitting is a growing problem in today’s society. Many Savers may be stuck indoors behind a desk for much of the day, so the Seated Core And Oblique Strengthener is just the thing to offset the detrimental health effects of sitting down for long periods.
Don’t let this seated exercise fool you, though – it’s is a very effective and challenging move that targets the core muscles (including the abs), and the obliques.
Balance, coordination, and even good posture begin with strong core muscles. They
include most of the trunk from chest to hips, going all the way to the deep muscles along the spine and pelvis.
The abdominal muscles are also part of the core, and toned abs are about more than just appearance. Strong abdominals are necessary for the correct position of the pelvis and lower back. Weak abs can contribute to a “swayback” – a forward-tilted pelvis and exaggerated curvature of the lumbar and sacral vertebrae.
The Seated Core And Oblique Strengthener also works the obliques. This muscle group makes up the muscles along your ribs, sides, and abdomen, and they consist of an inner and outer layer. Reaching, twisting, leaning, and even breathing involve your obliques.
If you’ve ever “twisted” your back and felt pain, then you know how important strong obliques are. When these muscles are strong and supple, they allow you to twist and rotate your torso correctly. They stabilize you upper body’s motion to prevent injury and optimize bone-building, weight-bearing exercise.
The oblique muscles work with the core to promote balance. Imagine someone slipping on ice or tripping over an object on the floor. Their body will pitch off balance, and the core and obliques kick in quickly to pull them upright again. Tight, weak, or otherwise neglected muscles will fail to do this job proficiently, setting the stage for a fall and upping the potential for a fracture.
So let’s take a look at today’s exercise!
You’ll need a dish towel or some other small towel (even an old T-shirt works) to do this move. And of course, you’ll need a chair!
- Sit in a chair that allows your legs to be bent at a 90-degree angle. You can put something under your feet if necessary.
- Hold your hands straight out in front of you with the towel stretched between your hands.
- Turn your upper body to the right, raising your right knee toward the towel as you do so.
- Put your right foot back down and twist to the left, bringing your left knee up toward the towel and back down.
- Repeat this motion until you have done approximately 20 rotations, or 10 on each side (feel free to do less or more as your fitness and comfort levels allow).
- Do not bend your elbows; keep your arms straight in front of you and do not raise or lower them.
- Your buttocks should stay in about the same position. Only your upper body rotates. Make sure you move slowly and with control.
- How high you raise your knee is not critical, but aim for your foot to come up about 12 inches from the floor. It’s fine if you can only do a few inches, or if you can lift a bit higher.
This exercise can be done in any chair at any time, which is a tremendous help in preventing the bone-damaging effects of long-term sitting.
Why Too Much Sitting Is An Issue
Alarmed at the amount of time people were spending in chairs, couches and cars, researchers began to study the health effects of this widespread habit. Shockingly, they found that too much sitting can actually shorten your life, giving rise to the phrase “the new smoking” to describe excessive sitting.
Without physical activity, your bones and muscles weaken. Excess fat and cardiovascular problems can result. Other issues that can arise from the “new smoking” include poor posture from slouched body positions, stiff muscles, depression, and decreased bone density.
In addition to performing moves like today’s challenge, here are some tips for day-to-day habits you can integrate to offset the effects of sitting:
- Take a walk outside whenever possible, and don’t be afraid to get creative about it. For instance, why not walk when you’re using your cell phone? If you use a laptop to do your work, turn it into the mobile work station it’s designed to be: walk to a café, park bench, picnic table, etc. to get your work done. Park far away from your destination to sneak in some extra walking.
- Keep things out of reach, such as your glass of water, phone, or trashcan. That way, you have to stretch or get up when you need to access these items.
- Set up a stand-up work station so you can look at your computer screen, use your keyboard, write notes, and generally conduct “desk business” while standing up. You can even march in place or stand on tiptoe periodically to keep moving during the workday.
- Rather than sitting down to watch television when you come home, take the opportunity to do some “anywhere” exercises and stretches, such as the Weekend Challenges or the exercises in Densercise™. Remember, they can be done any time, not just on the weekend or during your regular Densercise schedule!
Densercise™: Convenience And Fitness In One Digital Package
When I developed a density-building exercise program, I wanted it to be simple and easy to understand, yet highly effective and challenging. The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System is all that and more.
I knew that the most effective exercise program for rejuvenating bones should be accessible to everyone, and wouldn’t require expensive equipment or large spaces. So when you download the Densercise manual, the bonus Densercise Eating Guide and video link, you can get started right away, even if you’re sitting in front of your computer!
The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System combines fitness and convenience. It’s flexible, customizable, and is the only exercise program specifically designed to increase bone density.
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Please feel free to leave a comment below to share exercise tips, comment on today’s post, or let the community know how the Seated Core And Oblique Strengthener worked for you.
Here’s to an active rest of the weekend!