Core work is an integral part of having a strong, lithe body with an upright and healthy posture, but if the mere thought of boat pose (an intense core centered yoga pose) makes you want to keel over and abandon ship, read how you can make it smooth sailing and much easier on yourself.
Don’t go overboard
Start with the basics. Before attempting the full expression of boat pose (with both legs and arms extended off the floor) practice the beginner version until you can fully integrate your core without compromising your low back.
Sit comfortably on your mat. Place both hands about 12 inches behind your hips and place them shoulder width apart. Bend both elbows and lean slightly onto your hands. Rock your pelvis forward just enough so you are teetering on top of your sit bones (the bony protrusions at the base of your pelvis).
Back exercises are often over-looked due to the popularity of abdominal exercises. Below is a list of back exercises that can be performed at home or anywhere that you feel inclined to exercise. The exercises mainly target the lower back, but also help improve core stability, balance, and coordination.
Core stability is defined as the ability of the muscles of the trunk to stabilize the spine during movement. Dozens of muscles help stabilize the core and most are isolated in the exercises below. Balance is defined as the state of equilibrium and the following exercises help improve the strength and endurance levels of your muscles that help make balance possible. Coordination is defined as the skillful and effective interaction of movements. In order to maximize coordination, you must challenge the body by performing coordination based exercises and movements that allow the body to work and move more efficiently. Each exercise below targets a slightly different part of the back and helps improve coordination.
Stability balls come in all sizes and you need to find one that meets your exercise goals. Most stability balls provide you with a list of height and weight recommendations for each size so make sure to check the box or package for that, but if you can’t find the information laid out for you, here’s how to find the right size on your own. (more…)
DynaDisc is a fourteen-inch in diameter inflatable cushion made out of the same material as a stability ball. This little guy is only a few inches thick, but can withstand up to 2,000 pounds of force per square inch, and offers endless benefits for every fitness level, from beginner to expert.
The DynaDisc works under the same principal as a stability ball- the surface is uneven, challenging your muscles to keep you in proper position. The DynaDisc, however, is flat, so you can stand on it, engaging the stabilizing muscles in your legs and core. (more…)