In recent years the popularity of functional exercise and core training has grown dramatically. The belief that you’ll engage your core when standing, running, balancing and/or exercising on an unstable surface—and that this is more functional than working on a stable surface—has encouraged the use of equipment that challenges stability, particularly in the standing position. Even though it is possible to stabilize without properly engaging the core, a growing number of people are now training on unstable surfaces.
IDEA presenter and author Stacey Lei Krauss has challenged everyone in the world to show her their best plank. “Our message is simple: the plank is an exercise for body, mind and spirit,” says Krauss. She believes that the more people engage mind, body and spirit, the stronger they will become.
It’s early morning, and you arrive at the gym to discover a voice message from your 8:00 am client, Mary. She has called to let you know she will be unable to make her appointment because she has strained her back and is laid up in bed—for the third time this month. A consummate professional, you call to follow up with her. Mary explains that she “did something” to her back as she was rushing to get the kids off to the school bus. You wish her well, hang up the phone and contemplate her injury.
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Footbar position #4, pulleys cover #1, 1 spring
Standing at one side of Reformer facing footbar, one knee resting on carriage, with foot against shoulder rest and hip extended. Other foot on floor slightly in front of pelvis, knee flexed slightly. Arms reaching overhead to hold same-side strap, elbows soft. Spine extended slightly with gaze upward.
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.
Both single and partner-based core-training exercises should target specific muscle groups. The core consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder and provides a solid foundation for total-body movement. A strong core distributes weight-bearing loads and helps protect the low back.
footbar position #4, 1 or 2 springs, gearbar and carriage stopper position #1
Stand on Reformer, facing side. One foot on footboard, one foot on edge of carriage. Spine and pelvis neutral. Legs long and parallel. Arms long, reaching out to sides, palms down or forward.
Supine, pelvis and spine neutral. Knees flexed, feet on mat, shoulder distance apart. Fitness Circle® resistance ring between thighs. Arms long by sides, palms down, scapulae stabilized.
Abdominal training has always been a focal point for trainers and participants. In this InTensive, we look at the function of the abdominal and related core muscles in their role as key postural muscles and the center of power. Learn how to determine in which stage your client should be training. Walk away with take-home ideas for core training, all based on a systematic four-step progression model. Additional fee required for this class. See page 40 for more information.