Weekend Challenge: Seated Core Toner
Here in the U.S. and various countries around the world, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. So we wish all “Saver moms” a happy, joyful, special day this Sunday!
A great way to kick off Mother’s Day weekend is with some self-care, such as today’s simple (but challenging!) exercise. In fact, if you’re sitting at your computer reading this, you can get started right where you are! This move is done while seated, so you could hardly ask for a more convenient way to strengthen and tone your core muscles.
Your core muscles are crucial for balance, posture, and other aspects of your bone health. Let’s begin by taking a brief look at these often-neglected vital muscles.
While the core muscles are located primarily in the torso and include the abdominals, there is a great deal more to the core than just the abs. The core includes the following muscles and muscle groups:
- Transverus abdominis, a deep abdominal muscle that covers the “belly” area between the pelvis and the sternum.
- Multifidis, which covers a lot of ground, running directly along your spine from your sacrum to the base of your neck.
- Pelvic floor muscles, an important muscle group that covers the base of your pelvis and supports the bladder, uterus, intestines, and other internal organs.
- Erector spinae, a column-like bundle of muscle fibers and tendons that extends from your lumbar to your cervical vertebrae.
- Rectus abdominis, the classic “six-pack” muscle in the front of the abdomen.
- Diaphragm, an often overlooked but absolutely vital muscle that allows you to breathe. A toned diaphragm is essential for drawing deep, alkalizing breaths that help build your bones.
- Internal obliques, which lie just above the transversus abdominis, and the external obliques, which cover the back and sides of your abdomen.
- Lumbar muscles of the lower back are also considered core muscles.
- Gluteus maximus, your “bottom muscles” and key players in balance, posture, and gait.
In fact, all of these muscles are crucial for balance and posture, because a strong core is responsible for holding your torso up. The core is also instrumental for bending, twisting, and pretty much any movement of your torso.
Strong core muscles are also essential for healthy bones. Their connection with the pelvis, spine, and ribs means they stimulate bone growth in these areas when worked, per Wolff’s Law. Supple core muscles allow you to bend, twist, straighten, turn, and so forth without losing your balance, too. And that’s vital if you want to avoid falling.
So given the importance of these muscles, why not push back your chair and engage your core in today’s challenge! Here’s how to do it.
- Place your hands on the front edge or sides of your chair.
- Keeping your back straight (you can lean slightly against the chair’s backrest if it has one), lift your knees up toward your belly.
- Keeping your knees together, push your legs straight out in front of you.
- Bend your knees and bring your legs back toward your belly.
- Repeat this straightening and bending pattern 10 times, place your feet on the floor for a brief rest, and then do 10 more. As always, feel free to do more or fewer repetitions depending on your comfort and fitness levels.
You can follow up with the following Weekend Challenges that also work the core… while staying in your chair:
Just think – you’ve completed a rigorous core workout without even standing up! Convenience and simplicity are so helpful when it comes to exercising for your bone health. After all, it’s easy to find motivation when you’re already sitting in your home “exercise machine.”
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this Weekend Challenge. Please feel free to leave a comment below, and share your experience with the community.
Have a great weekend!