Welcome to The Series, a new segment on The Chill Times designed to bring focused exercises straight to your home. With the guidance of Thea Hughes, a functional strength coach at SESSION and creative marketing consultant, we’ll be providing at-home workouts for all the areas you really care about. Check back every other Monday for a new workout, and follow Thea to connect further about questions or concerns.
To feel strong is to feel powerful, and that’s what we keep in mind when we move our bodies. To strengthen and target your core, think about stabilizing and resisting movement in the trunk instead of crunching your spine. The results will improve your posture, prevent the spine from being thrown out of safe positions, and make you see an opportunity for “ab” training in every exercise that you do from here on out — we call that a triple win. This series will be :30 seconds of work with :10 seconds to transition to the next exercise. Once you’ve completed all five moves, rest for :30 seconds and repeat for 3x rounds.
Starting in a quadruped (all fours) position, place a glider under each foot, slowly driving one knee into your chest at a time. Imagine that you are balancing a glass of water on your back, focusing on keeping the back flat, resisting extension in the spine, and keeping the hips still. Only the knees and hip flexors should be in motion.
Tip: Slow and steady wins the race with this one.
Plank Glide Outs
Start in a plank position from your knees with a neutral spine and hips stacked underneath your ribcage. With a glider underneath each hand slowly reach one arm out, bracing your core to resist extension in your back.
Tip: No gliders? Opt for a handtowel on a hardwood floor. Ready for a challenge? Come up onto a plank from your toes.
Bear Crawl + Toss
Back in that quadruped position, slowly walk forward by moving the opposite hand and foot forward two inches and then repeat on the other side. Once you get this movement down, add in a weighted ball that requires a good ‘push’ and chase.
Tip: aim to push the ball with alternating arms.
Laying on your back, feet on the ground and arms by your side, start by exhaling and driving your lower back into the ground. Keep this imprinted position (continue to breathe as normal) while you lift the head, neck, arms, and shoulders off the ground imagining a ‘hollowing’ out of the body. The follow with the legs and hold.
Tip: think of lifting the chest and legs to the ceiling vs crunching your nose towards your torso.
One of my favorite anti-rotation exercises great at stabilizing the core and resisting spinal flexion, extension, and rotation. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft, grab the band or cable with both hands at chest height and step away from the anchor point to ensure tension on the band. Exhale as you press your arms out, hold for a moment, and then return.
Tip: think about drawing a straight line with a big pencil, resisting the pull towards the band.
The Pallof Chop is an anti-rotation progression where we are still resisting rotation on one side, as we rotate / chop to the other.
Tip: return your hands to that pallof press position in between each rep.
Feature Image via Vanessa Granda