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The core muscles are those that make up the abdomen, lower back and pelvis. If you think of the area that is covered by a corset, that is where those muscles lie. They are essential to having good balance and stability, which helps to prevent falls and lower back pain. They also help to pick up the grandchildren without injuring yourself. Basically all functional movements (including standing still) are dependent on the core,the only time you aren't engaging those muscles is when you are lying down on your back!
I am going to describe two exercises which are fantastic for all the muscles in the core.
- Get on your hands and knees (hands directly below your shoulders, knees directly below your hips).
- Engage your core and abdominal muscles. Imagine you are tightening a corset around your waist, keep breathing steadily and never hold your breath.
- Slowly lift up your right leg backwards (don't let your hips tilt to one side whilst moving your legs), and your left arm forwards (so they are parallel to the floor).
- Hold for 5 seconds and relax.
- Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
- Repeat the whole process 5 times.
- Lie facedown on the mat. Place forearms on mat, elbows under shoulders. Place legs together with forefeet on floor.
- Raise body upward by straightening body on elbows and toes. Keep breathing steadily and never hold your breath.Your back, neck and head should be in a straight line.
- Hold position for between 10-30 seconds.
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