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Stronger Core in 4 weeks: Week #4

It is our final week of core strengthening. If you have completed the program, you should be feeling stronger! This week we are going to focus on ways to advance your practice. These are more challenging exercises that involve balance, weight, and movement. If you are still having difficulties with the previous exercises, continue them until you feel stronger and more confident. You can advance to these when you feel ready. Remember, if you have any pain, discomfort, or dizziness, stop the exercises immediately.

Warrior III Crunch

Stand with feet together in the middle of your mat. Inhaling, set your gaze on one point and contract abs, shifting weight onto the left leg. Exhaling, come into Warrior III, leaning torso forward, hinging at hips, and lifting the right leg off mat and arms out to sides at shoulder height (torso and right leg should be parallel to the mat) (A). Inhaling, lengthen through arms and right leg. Exhaling, bend left knee and crunch into a tight ball, (B). Inhaling, straighten left leg and return to Warrior III, reaching arms out to sides and right leg behind you.

Do 5 to 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

Wood Chop

Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, core engaged, holding a dumbbell by your left leg. Raise your arms diagonally in front of your body to the upper right of your reach, allowing your torso and toes to rotate to the right as you twist naturally. Now "chop" the weight down to the left, bring it across the front of your body, and aim for your left ankle, allowing your torso and toes to rotate naturally. Focus on keeping your lower body stable and rotating from your core. Complete 10X's then repeating on the other side.

Plank with shoulder taps

Start in the plank position with your feet slightly wider than your hips. You can modify on your knees or elevate yourself onto a higher surface like a chair or countertop. Engage the core and shift weight onto the right arm. Tap the right shoulder with the left arm. Shift weight onto the left arm and use the right arm to tap the left shoulder. Repeat each side alternating left and right taps. Careful not to rock in your torso, stay as stabilized as possible. Repeat 10X's on each side.


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