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Movement of The Week: Building a Strong Core

Posted on March 21 2017

Following on from the most recent blog series, this week follows a similar theme sharing advice based on some lessons learned along the way in my fitness journey. Over the past year, I have discovered how building a strong core can have many benefits in so many aspects of your fitness and wellbeing.
 

A strong core is more than six pack abs; it stabilises and protects the spine. I suffered a fall from height landing on my back last year and although I spent a good 3 months recovering from my injuries, I was told by medical professionals how lucky I was to come away with muscular damage rather than nerve, tendon/ligament or even bone damage. My body seized up to protect itself from the fall. Following this incident it really hit home why building a strong core is so important. Overcoming injury I spent more time working on building up my core and I’ve noticed significant improvements with my lifting and gymnastic strength. Here are just one of many movements you can do to build a strong core:
 

Movement of the Week: Hollow Hold



  • Squeeze your abs and tuck your hips so that your lower back is flat to floor

Choose a level that is best for you for the below. The most important thing is to keep this body shape through your core so choose a level where you can maintain this shape.
 

Level 1

  • Lift your legs off the floor and bend your knees. Keep your legs active by squeezing them together and pointing your toes
  • Round your shoulders and reach your arms forward raised off the floor

 

Level 2

  • Lift your legs off the floor straight out in front of you and keep them active by squeezing them together and pointing your toes
  • Round your shoulders and reach your arms forward raised off the floor

 

 Level 3 

  • Lift your legs off the floor and keep them strong by squeezing them together and pointing your toes
  • Round your shoulders and reach your arms up so they are in line with your eyes and consciously reach as far as you can with your fingertips

The aim is to build up strength in this position. It might not look like much but it sure will give you an ab burn and trust me it works! “Look after the pennies and the pounds will count themselves.” Spending time mastering the basics and working on the fundamentals will set you up for long-term success.

You can incorporate this into your training in your warms ups, workouts or even as accessory work on active recovery days. Aim for a set duration, such as 30 seconds over 2-5 sets, and try to increase this each week. It can also be done in a Tabata format and mixed in with other complimentary core exercises like Arch Holds.
 

Strengthening your core will improve your movement, which will help with efficiency and positioning. This helps you move better for longer, lift heavier and reduces the risk of injury.

Ripped abs are cool and all but imagine if you could defy gravity with your rock solid core... What your body can do holds so much more value than what it looks like. Beauty is projected from within and what is more beautiful than a determined strong woman who is working to better herself.

Happy hollowing everyone.

Stephanie Knapp

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