This pandemic has been hard on all aspects of our lives. Emotionally, psychologically, and it has changed our lifestyles. As a result, have you found it difficult to keep up with a regular workout routine? Did you gain the Covid-19? Below I will show you 3 simple core exercises you can do at home to help get rid of that quarantine muffin top! We are going to work on those core muscles and help tighten them up.
As a disclaimer, this is not a nutritional blog, but you should know that core exercises alone does not help you lose weight and drop that fat in the core area; diet plays a huge role. In addition to these core exercises, make sure you are eating a clean diet and drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
1. Dying Bug
For this exercise, begin by lying on your back, preferably on a cushioned surface such as a carpet or a yoga mat. Tuck your pelvis under, or in other words, press your lower back firmly onto the surface you are lying on.
While your back remains on the floor, bend your knees and raise them up so that your knees are directly above your hips.
Now raise your arms up toward the sky so that your wrists are right above your shoulders. Imagine you are the upside down version of being on your hands and knees.
Now that you are in position, slowly lower your right arm and your left leg away from each other. Then repeat on the other side.
A few things to note:
- If this is too difficult, try simply doing one arm or one leg at a time.
- For more advanced individuals who are able to maintain their lower back on the floor/mat, stretch your leg all the way out.
- If you cannot maintain your back on the floor/mat, keep the knee bent while you lower the leg toward the floor.
Hold each repetition for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times on each side. Take breaks as necessary or when you feel like you are losing form.
The plank is better than a hundred sit ups since you don’t need anyone to hold your feet and it’s much less likely that you will hurt your back!
Begin by lying on your stomach and when you are ready, tuck your toes under and lift up onto your elbows. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders and your back should be flat. Do not let your butt lift up into the air OR drop below your shoulders. You should be in a straight line from your head down to your heels not letting your belly drop down. Maintain contraction in your abs.
A modification for this is to drop down onto your knees as opposed to staying up on your toes. Especially do this if you feel any pain or discomfort in your back when doing the first version.
Begin by holding this for 20-30 seconds and repeat for a total of 3 times. Progress to holding for a minute or longer as you get stronger!
3. Side Plank
We’ve worked the front of the abs and a little bit of the obliques, now it’s time to really get to those side muscles.
Begin by lying on your side and then lift up onto your feet with your elbow directly underneath your shoulder as pictured. You can either stack your feet on top of each other or stagger them so one is in front of the other. Both legs should be straight.
A modification for this is to go onto your knees instead of on your feet. Simply bend your knees and make a straight line from your head to your knee.
Make sure you maintain a straight line from head to toe or knee.
Begin by holding for 20-30 seconds repeat for a total of 2 times and as you get stronger, challenge yourself to hold it for a minute or more!
I hope you find this exercise routine helpful and challenging. If you are experiencing pain while attempting these exercises, it is important to see your local physical therapist to get checked out. For this reason, we offer FREE EVALUATIONS here at Robbins Rehabilitation East,If you are looking for more ways to exercise and get mobile while at home, check out our other Top 3 videos on our blog and on Social Media.
-Holly Burns, PT, DPT