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.

Why:

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.

How:

  1. Place your hands on the front edge or sides of your chair.
  2. Keeping your back straight (you can lean slightly against the chair’s backrest if it has one), lift your knees up toward your belly.
  3. Keeping your knees together, push your legs straight out in front of you.
  4. Bend your knees and bring your legs back toward your belly.
  5. 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!

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19 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Marilyn May 21, 2018, 7:27 am

    This was quite a workout! Thank you!

  2. Cindy May 17, 2018, 2:56 pm

    I’ve been on your program for a while. Sometimes following very well and other times …not so much. Which calcium supplement do you prefer? Tru Osteo or algaeCal and strontium boost? I just saw the latter advertised and wondered if you have heard of or recommend? Thank you so much.

  3. Gina May 14, 2018, 7:41 pm

    I cannot do that core exercise with both legs at the same time. Can only do one leg
    at a time and I am in good shape as I am a poms dancer. But then again I am 81 yrs old so maybe that is for the young people.

  4. Dale White May 14, 2018, 10:27 am

    OMG, difficult to say the least. It’s a real eye opener to see how ‘out of shape’ I really am, and I’m an active person. It’s going to take a lot of practice to get this going. It’s hard. Glad to read I’m not the only one having no luck with this.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 14, 2018, 2:14 pm

      Good point, Dale: practice makes perfect 🙂

  5. pei May 13, 2018, 3:26 pm

    I tried doing this exercise with both legs but were quite strenuous. Can I try with one leg at a time?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 14, 2018, 2:13 pm

      To Pei and Eileen: yes, you can do this exercise with one leg at at time, but try to keep the one you’re not flexing off the floor, even if it’s a few inches. I hope this helps, and don’t give up!

  6. Eileen May 13, 2018, 3:23 am

    good morning from England Vivian, I can do this exercise one leg at a time but not both legs together. will that work as well?

  7. Abigail May 12, 2018, 6:10 pm

    Hi V, happy mothers day to you. God bless you and family again. May He strengthen and bless you continually to do the task for which He has called you.
    I have not as yet tried this exercise, but I will in time. Thanks for being such a great blessing and help to all of us here. You are family. Love and hugs.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 12, 2018, 10:53 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Abigail! We’re so glad to have you in our Saver family!

  8. Zara. May 12, 2018, 1:18 pm

    Just discovered that I can’t have much in the way of core muscles.
    Better to find these things out sooner rather than later – one exercise at a time from now on until I can surprise myself!
    Thanks, Vivian.

    • Miad May 12, 2018, 10:40 pm

      I I have osteoporosis,, but I have sever pain in mid part of my spine .. is the pain related to my condition ? Thank you

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 12, 2018, 2:17 pm

      Zara, if you’re persistent with the exercises, you will surprise yourself 🙂

  9. Shirley May 12, 2018, 12:21 pm

    I tried this exercise. It didn’t say anything about breathing. I think you should breathe in as your knees come up while simultaneously squeezing your pelvic floor (pretending to stop the flow of urine). This is a good exercise!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 12, 2018, 1:00 pm

      Breathing is always helpful when exercising. So glad you like this move, Shirley!

      • Ann May 12, 2018, 9:11 pm

        Exhale through your mouth when you bring the legs in. It tightens your midsection and allows you to bring in your legs more and adds more stability to the core. Inhale through the nose as the legs are straightened.

  10. Muriel May 12, 2018, 10:38 am

    This exercise looks easy, but it is quite difficult for me – obviously my core muscles need attention. However, I will persist as I’m sure it will do me good, and will probably get easier each time I try it.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 12, 2018, 12:59 pm

      Thanks for sharing you positive attitude with us, Muriel!

      • sauda Barwani July 9, 2018, 8:09 am

        Dear Vivian,
        thank you very much for all the good advise,tips and exercise which we get from you.
        Unfortunately I received the last mail from savers on the 12th May 2018.I dont understand why the mails have stopped comimg.I will be very grateful if I can get them again.I have been a member of this group for years.
        yours
        Sauda

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