Wall sits are a great way to work the legs and core without and equipment. All you need to do is sit against a wall at a 90 degree angle. You want to ensure that your back is completely flat against the wall and there is no gap in the lumbar area. Try to keep your shoulders against the wall too as this will improve postural issues. You want your bum to be at a 90 degree angle, no higher or lower. This will really work the quads. If you want to make the move a little more advanced, lift one leg off the ground, alternating between both legs. Try to hold for 30 seconds initially and then slowly increase the time you hold as your leg and core strength increase.
Side Plank Rotations
This exercise is a killer on the core because you have to balance on a small surface area and incorporate movement. This means that the abdominal muscles have to work extra hard to keep you from falling flat on your face. Start in a high plank position. Then step one leg out to the side at the same time rotating to balance on one hand and one foot. At the same time open the hand you are not balancing on so that you get a lovely opening through the pec area. Repeat from one side to another about 10 times.
The Bear Crawl Hold
I personally love giving my clients this exercise because it looks so easy but is a killer on the quads and core. Start on an all fours position ensuring your palms are stacked under the shoulder, knees under the hips and toes under the ankles. Keep the legs about hip width apart. Once you have correctly aligned the body, simple lift the knees 2 inches off the ground and hold. Start by trying to hold for 30 seconds and increase as you start to get stronger.
When people think about strengthening their core they focus mostly on the muscles on their stomach. They fail to remember that the core is like a thick belt that wraps around the middle of your body. So in order to have a truly strong core and protect the spine you need to focus on your back too. Superman are a great way of doing just that. Start by laying flat on your belly with your legs open and your arms open over your head. As you exhale lift your arm and legs off the ground simultaneously about 4-5 inches off the ground. Hold for about 5 seconds and lower back down to the mat.
Russian twists are a great way to work the obliques. Start by sitting on a mat and lean back to a 45 degree angle. Rotate from side to side bring your hand to the ground on the side of your body as you twist. Try not to just swing from one side to another. Instead gently contract the obliques as you turn. If you want to make this a little more advanced you can hold a weight in your hand and lift your feet off the ground. This will force the abdominals to work harder in order to keep you balanced.
Start by laying on a mat and bring your legs to a table top position. Place your hands under your head to support your neck. Rotate your torso bringing your opposite elbow to your opposite knee. At the same time extend one leg all the way down so it nearly touches the mat. Keep rotating from side to side repeating the same movement. This movement really works the obliques and lower abdominals.
Bulgarian Split Squats
This is another great exercise you can do at home and it really works your legs and core. You can use a chair or the frame of your bed as equipment. Placing one foot on a chair, step your other leg in front about a leg length. Ensure that your alignment is correct. Your front foot should be stacked directly over your ankle. Lower your back knee towards the ground without allowing your front knee to overshoot the toe. This way you will feel it a lot more in your back quad. Also because you are balancing on one foot while performing this movement it really works your core muscles too.
Photography By: Chanaka Hettiarachchi