As life continues to be weird and different and, at times, more than a little scary, one thing remains true: one of the pillars of good health is movement.
(The other pillars are mindset, nutrition and recovery. We’ll talk about them another time).
Moving your body regularly does good things for you physically and mentally.
Central to our approach to moving your body is doing things that challenge your core to stabilize your low-back and pelvis while your arms and/or legs are doing what you want them to do…say, during an Instagram dance party or when you’re moving furniture around because why not rearrange the furniture in the living room?
With that in mind, I submit for your consideration three “core” exercises that you might not have tried before…
(where “core” means that you’ll find these challenge more than just your core).
Bear Crawl hold with heels against the wall (or couch)
Increasingly, we are using the Bear-position hold in place of the traditional plank because it makes it easier to get into—and hold—a solid core position: the goal is to align your pelvis and diaphragm such that they make a super strong cylinder of strength and power and awesomeness.
The heel-to-wall contact spices things up a bit by facilitating increased hamstring and glute engagement.
It does require a bit of finessing where hand position is concerned—if you find yourself feeling like you’re falling forward, just move your hands a bit forward.
Sure, there are other names for this one, like ‘Bear-position Kickthroughs’, but we feel like Breakdancing Bear is obviously more fun to say.
When you try these, you’ll notice a pretty obvious core challenge, but the special sauce of the Breakdancing Bear is that it reinforces and challenges the connection that exists between your shoulder and the opposite-side hip—a connection that goes through your core.
It is important to remain mindful of keeping your stabilizing shoulder in a good position as you spin back and forth.
Slow-Motion Kettlebell Pendulum
We learned about/stole this exercise from Ben Bruno, who attributes it to Vernon Griffith.
This exercise definitely makes your deep core and obliques wake up and say hello!
But there is also some really delightful hip stabilization and butt work that goes on.
It can take some practice to get the hang of the position: most, if not all, of your weight wants to be in the front foot and we’re aiming for a hinging at the hips that will keep your front shin almost vertical. If you want to make it a bit more spicy, put your rear foot in line with your front foot.
Have ever-so much fun with these! If you have any questions about technique, please feel free to reach out.
And, if you happen to live in the Medford, MA area and are in the market for a new ‘fitness home’, check out our safety page to learn about all the ways we’re going to make Redefine Strength and Fitness a safe and happy place to work out and generally be more badass.