The first thing to note is that it is not just one exercise, but rather four different exercises. These are the following:
1) Side plank (also known as side crunches).
2) Seated crunch or leg raise.
This exercise involves raising your legs up off the floor while keeping them straight in front of you. You then lower yourself down until your knees touch the ground again.
3) Plank with hands at shoulder height.
This exercise involves holding a position for several minutes without moving your arms or legs.
4) Lying prone curl.
This exercise involves lying face down on the floor with your head resting against the back of a chair, and your body curled into a ball like a baby seal. Your neck must remain still throughout this movement because if it moves, you will lose control over the movement and fall out of the pose!
These four exercises are all variations of the same core exercise. They are called “core” because they involve your abdominal muscles.
When you perform these core exercises, you strengthen those muscles which support your spine and keep it stable during everyday activities such as walking, standing, sitting and even lifting heavy objects.
So what exactly does strengthening my abdominals do?
Well, it can significantly improve your strength and posture. It can also reduce the risk of sustaining serious injuries such as herniated or prolapsed discs in the lower back.
By now you’re probably wondering what kind of exercises you should do to strengthen your core. If you’re anything like me, a solid explanation involving science and perhaps even a diagram or two would really help you understand the concept better.
Do these exercises three to four times a week. If you suffer from back pain, it is best to consult your doctor before starting this or any exercise program.
It is important to remember that you won’t see results right away, so don’t get discouraged! It took time to damage your core, and it will take time to strengthen it.
Sources & references used in this article:
Improvement in dynamic balance and core endurance after a 6-week core-stability-training program in high school track and field athletes by MA Sandrey, JG Mitzel – Journal of sport rehabilitation, 2013 – journals.humankinetics.com
Progressions of isometric core training by ED Fitness
Influence of dynamic versus static core exercises on performance in field based fitness tests by N Mendrin, SK Lynn, HK Griffith-Merritt… – Strength and …, 2016 – ingentaconnect.com
Effects of traditional sit-up training versus core stabilization exercises on short-term musculoskeletal injuries in US Army soldiers: a cluster randomized trial by KL Parkhouse, N Ball – Journal of bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2011 – Elsevier
Taking multinational corporate codes of conduct to the next level by JD Childs, DS Teyhen, PR Casey… – Physical …, 2010 – academic.oup.com