Fabulous February: Watch TV for a stronger core

Today’s tip only works if you watch TV with commercials. I mean, I guess you could just do a core workout, but a commercial set “core workout” is a good bite-sized way to get started.

During commercials, hop off the sofa, lay on the floor, and do some core work. Only do as many reps as you can do using the proper form, and mix it up so that you do a variety of exercises. You might even be able to convince the whole family to join in!

Here are some of my favorites:

Planks – either on your elbows or with arms extended. See the bottom of this post for some images and pay attention to the “incorrect” and “correct” positions. If are rarely do core work, start with holding the plank for just 10 seconds and then take a rest. A good rest after a plank is a Child Pose.

Superhero – having a strong back is a huge part of strong core! This website explains this exercise well and offers some modifications.

Leg Throw-downs – lay on your back with feet up in the air and lower them to the ground as slowly as you can. Hold onto the bottom of the sofa (arms over your head like doing a tricep curl) for stability. If you’ve got a partner that will play along, you can hold on to their ankles like in this video. Honestly, though, the slower you lower your legs to the ground, the more effective this will be. Just clear the area first. I once forgot to check my space and slammed my legs into a coffee table at my uncle’s house. It hurt like the dickens.

Crunches – Keep your neck straight and apply the “teacup test.” According to Google that isn’t a thing, but Kristen Jackson at Take It Outside Fitness told me this one. If you were to put a full cup of hot tea on a saucer and rest it on your stomach, it should not spill if you were to do a crunch. In other words, it’s not a sit-up. Check out this video to see the proper form and watch that space between her elbows and her hips – pretend the teacup is there.


About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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