I´m sure you´re already aware that it takes 21 days to make a new habit stick. So, this week is key. Ready?
It´s monday, which means core and glutes, my friend.
Crunches have been the mainstay of ab workouts for decades. They target the rectus abdominis, the six-pack muscle that runs along the front of the torso. This muscle flexes to bring your chest towards your hips. Building this muscle is one part of developing your core muscles for stability and performance.
- Starting position: Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands on your thighs. Pull your belly button towards your spine.
- Exhale and slowly contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about 1 or 2 inches off the floor. Your hands will advance through your thighs and reach your knees with your fingers.
- Inhale as you slowly lower back down, but don’t relax all the way. It’s easy to let your shoulders fall to the floor but a more effective approach is to keep the tension on the abs throughout the entire movement. You never want to completely relax the shoulders onto the floor.
The crunch is a subtle movement, lifting the shoulder blades just a few inches off the floor. Jerking the shoulders up adds momentum and reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. It takes time to build strength in the abs, so it’s best to take your time and do the move slowly rather than using momentum to get the body up.
The clam is a simple exercise that tones the glutes, and hips. It also teaches pelvic stability as the leg rotates inward and outward at the hip. This exercise is calling on your deep six hip muscles. These smaller and lesser-known hip muscles help with the movement of your legs and hip, create pelvic movement, and are important to the overall health and integrity of your hip. The clam is often prescribed in physical therapy for people who have knee pain as it activates the muscles needed to support good knee function. It is also used in rehabilitation after total hip replacement and hip fracture.
Lie down on one side of your body with your arm stretched out to support your head.
- Starting position: Bend your knees, so they rest at a 45-degree angle and keep your legs on top of one another.
- Loop a resistance band around your thighs, just above the knees. Use your arms for stabilization, and pull your core muscles inwards.
- Exhale and rotate your upper knee, so it moves away from your bottom knee, as far up as you can.
- Inhale as you lower your leg back down again.
Keep your feet in contact with one another as you raise your upper knee as high as you can, without moving the hips or pelvis. Don’t allow your lower leg to move off of the floor.
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.