Welcome to the Do It Better Fitness Challenge, designed to prepare your body and mind to raise your productivity in your day to day.
Today we focus on the core and glutes with these two exercises:
The reverse crunch is a core exercise that targets the muscles of the lower abdomen. It is good for developing strong and functional abs, improving and maintaining balance, stability, and good posture in daily life.
- Lay face-up on the mat with your arms at your sides. Relax your shoulders and neck to minimize the tension in your upper body.
- Starting position: Raise and bend (90 degrees) your knees directly over your hips. Your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Brace the abdominal muscles and hold a neutral spine position with a slight natural curve in the lower back yet with the back firmly against the floor.
- Exhale as you contract the abs to curl your hips toward your chest. Your hips come off the mat as you curl. Your knees should remain at the same angle throughout this movement. Your head keeps straight and the neck and shoulders remain relaxed and on the mat.
- Inhale and slowly return to the starting position with your hips back on the mat and your knees over your hips still bent 90 degrees.
This exercise seems easy but it´s a bit tricky. These two are the most common mistakes:
Using Momentum: It is tempting to do the reverse crunch fast and use momentum to curl you up rather than the contraction of your abs. Avoid this by doing it slowly and with control.
Rolling Too Far: Only your tailbone and hips should be raised from the mat in the upward phase. Stop when you lose contact with your lower back. If you are doing the reverse crunch slowly you are less likely to go too far than when you are using momentum and doing it in a quicker motion. I want you to focus and feel how your lower abdomen does the work to lift your butt off the floor.
The glute bridge isolates and strengthens your glutes (butt) muscles and hamstrings (back of the thigh). When done correctly, the move can also enhance core stability by targeting your abdominal muscles and the muscles of the lower back and hip. This exercise will also improve your posture and can help ease lower back pain. In fact, as long as you have good form, bridge exercises are generally safe for people with chronic back problems and can aid in pain management.
- Starting position: Lie on your back with your hands at your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles by pushing your low back into the ground before you push up.
- Exhale as you raise your hips, by contracting your glutes, to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Squeeze your core and pull your belly button back toward your spine.
- Inhale and slowly return to your starting position.
Tips to get the most out of this workout
- Read the instructions on how to do the exercises. If you skipped it, scroll up. It´s important to keep the technique in mind to perform the exercises correctly.
- Watch the first two sets before you start and visualize yourself performing the exercises.
- Grab the equipment you need (mat, resistance bands), put them in position, and keep close your bottle of water.
- Mute your phone. Next 10 minutes you´ll be unavailable.
- We aim for a total of 10 sets (5 sets each exercise), with no rest in between. However, if you need to rest, press pause and take your time.
- Each set is 1 minute long. If it´s too much for you right now, do as many repetitions as possible.