The secret to a strong core
We’re getting closer to summer which means the crops and cossies are coming out! For a strong ab sesh, we got WF’s resident yogi, Kate Kendall, to show us some key postures that not only build core strength from the inside out, but also mental resilience.
This workout is best done in flow. Flow through side plank, side angle and the seated legs crossed on one side, finishing with boat and then repeat on left side – sealing with another boat.
Side plank (tree legs)
Great for: Strengthening side waist/obliques, toning the arms and strengthening the shoulders.
NOTE: See above picture for correct tree leg position.
- From all fours, take right hand into centre of mat and turn body to left.
- Press firmly into right hand and stack right wrist and shoulder as you squeeze the left leg straight. Stay here, or to take further;
- Squeeze both legs straight, stacking left foot on top of right. Firm the side waist and lift the hips skyward. Stay here or for Tree Leg variation, bend the left leg slowly and place left sole of foot at inner right thigh. Keep lifting hips energetically. Stay for five calm and deep breaths.
Side angle – arms free
Great for: Strengthening the side waist/obliques, toning the arms and legs plus stretching the groin.
- Facing side of mat, take a wide stance. Turn right toes straight forward to top of mat and turn left toes in 45 degrees. Front heel is in line with back arch. Inhale your arms out shoulder height and long. Exhale ease your hips towards the earth.
- To prepare your side waist for length, inhale flip your right palm and paint the ceiling with your fingertips into a Reverse Warrior;
- As you exhale, extend your whole torso forward and reach both arms towards the front of the mat as if holding onto a beach ball.
- Activate your side waist and remember that the strength is coming from the very pit of your belly. Stay for five breaths.
Seated sit-bone lifts
Great for: Strengthening the arms and core.
- From a seated posture, cross your right leg in front of the left.
- Press your palms flat into the floor by your side.
- Take a full breath in and as you exhale, press palms into earth and lift your sit bones up off the floor. Pull the navel gently in and up (especially at the end of exhalations) and pull up lightly the pelvic floor. Stay here, or for a little more strength, lift the feet up also.
Great for: Strengthening core.
- From the same seated posture, take your hands underneath knees, lean back and as you draw the navel to spine to lightly engage the core, begin to lift the toes up off the floor and take the shins parallel to floor. Stay here or take make stronger; take hands away creating a long line of energy from shoulders to fingertips.
- Stay here or squeeze legs straight, remembering to keep the lower abdominal muscles in, gaze soft and steady forward and breast calm and deep. Stay for five breaths.