Instructors, it’s time to take your core work off the floor. There are many fantastic ground-bound exercises that target the core—and you should definitely keep them! However, if you learn how to “sneak” in core work while standing, every workout has the potential to enhance participants’ strength, power and functionality.
Do you want to revitalize the core sections of your classes? Training the core is fundamental to any program. Why not add new “twists” using fundamental, but often underused, equipment? Medicine balls have been around for years and are a staple in boxing and sports performance communities, as well as many fitness facilities. If you’re struggling to find new ways to incorporate medicine balls into your group classes (besides Russian twists), check out these variations.
For years, yoga has supported my career as a b-girl (breakdancer) and professional contemporary and hip-hop dancer. From this stable foundation, I’ve built strength, grace, balance and power. The following sequence—which blends dance, yoga and footwork drills—has the basic structure of a hip-hop class. The combination gives participants a unique cardio experience while safely building flexibility and increasing upper-body and core strength.
Did you know that training your core (your body minus arms and legs) is important to maintaining a healthy, strong body? Looking for some new core exercises? Want to add new “twists” to core exercises using fundamental, but often underused, equipment?
Medicine balls have been around for years and are a staple in boxing and sports performance communities. If you’d like to incorporate medicine balls into your workout program, check out these variations from Dan Bettcher, MS, a Muay Thai practitioner and cofounder of KOR Strength and Conditioning in San Diego.
How do you transition students quickly from the main part of class to the core-conditioning exercises? With larger classes and limited space and equipment, you may want to add creative partner-based moves.
Things your clients may split:
a training session, with a friend
their pants, while doing a deep squat
their abdominal muscles
Sometimes an unnatural divide can develop between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle bundles, a condition doctors call diastasis recti. It’s usually associated with pregnancy, but it can happen to men and children in addition to moms-to-be. If you have clients suffering from diastasis recti, chances are they are going to be interested in how the separation came about and how they can fix it.
After having a baby, many women decide to head back to group fitness classes, hoping to get their “bellies” back in shape. While traditional crunches may not be appropriate, this is a time to “rebuild” the core, along with doing other supportive activities. If you teach a class that is specific to the postpartum phase of a woman’s life, feel confident using the following moves as a component of a safe, well-designed workout.
Boot camps are everywhere, and there’s something for everyone. If your students are looking for the challenge of a boot camp with additional focus on stability training, try Core Conditioning Camp. This class includes powerful calorie-burning cardio moves and unique strength training exercises, with an emphasis on balance training to challenge the core. Keep the following principles in mind when leading Core Conditioning Camp:
The definition of core work varies from format to format and means different things to different people. My own perspective has evolved over 28 years of yoga, running, dancing, Pilates, shiatsu massage, cadaver dissection and opera singing. Of all the core muscles, the respiratory diaphragm seems to be the most underutilized.newsletter_teaser: Of all the core muscles, the diaphragm seems to be the least utilized. Exercises for the spinal muscles, abdominal layers and back muscles are not uncommon, but deep diaphragmatic exercises are relegated to rare yoga techniques and vocal training. This is a major oversight.