YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Susannah Gillespie, a York Jewish Community Center personal trainer, says that the core is the most important muscle group to consistently work to strengthen.
"Core not only encompasses our abs in the front, obliques on the side but also our lower back, so it helps to support us from the inside," said Gillespie.
There are so many different exercises that help to strengthen the muscle group but Gillespie says this one is her favorite because you are working with the back to the ground, so the participant is able to target the group safely and effectively.
The move basically is a crunch and twist to each side.
To get set up, start with your placement on the mat, focusing on tension in the abdominals. Think of this as bringing your belly button to the spine, or having your lower back flush with the mat.
"Feet are flat on the floor, knees are bent, and you can use your hands to gently lower yourself down. From here we want to make sure that your feet are a little bit wide. And your lower back is placed into the mat for support," said Gillespie.
From there the work starts to kick in!
"We are going to interlace our fingers and curl up. Head, neck and shoulders come up off the ground and we roll down. Turn a little to the side, roll back up and down. And then we turn to the other side, roll up and down," said Gillespie.
If you want to increase the resistance to the move, or add a little challenge, feel free to grab some added weight to hold when crunching up and to the sides.
Gillespie says you can pretty much use anything, but a weighted ball, hand weights or a kettlebell are most commonly used.
When it comes to reps, add the core move to any circuit or cardio training day.
"Whatever you can do today, do a little bit more tomorrow. Ten [reps] are great. If ten is what your max is, then tomorrow comes 11 or 12 [reps] and as you are increasing, you are getting stronger. Keep on challenging yourself so you can feel that," said Gillespie.
Let us know what you think and you just got better!