News Posted on Shefinds.com - Oct 12, 2021
If you have fitness goals surrounding your stomach and back, there is no better use of your exercise time than these impactful 2-in-1 exercises that trainers can’t get enough of at home or in the gym. For strengthening the core, tightening the tummy and working two muscle groups at once, we love the plank modifications, as well as the other new moves that our health experts shared for this story. You’ll work new muscles you didn’t know existing, all the while toning up and building strength that will help to improve coordination and balance. Without further ado:
“These are the best for the stomach and back fat,” Matt Chalmers, health and wellness professional, practicing doctor, author and speaker, tells us. “They hit the entire abdominal structure, rectus, transverse and obliques as well as the quadratus lumborum in the back.” Plus, doing these will also utilize all the pelvic floor muscles, hip flexors, hamstrings, quads chest and upper back muscles, he explains. Nice!
DB Plank Row
"Using 5lb to 10lb dumbbells, place them on the ground, get into plank position holding the dumbbells with your hands," certified fitness trainer and founder of Kinetic Sweat Jess Rose McDowell tells us. During all active reps; arms shoulder width apart, keep your shoulders down, push your heels back, squeeze your glutes & quads, zip up your core & maintain a flat back. Alternate arms lifting the dumbbell up making a 90 degree bend (like a tricep kickback) then bring the DB back on the ground. Maintain your breath & focus on your form. Do NOT sink your glutes to avoid lower back pain.
"Planks slides are a great exercise that strengthens your entire core, including your entire back," certified personal trainer and creator of the Core Rehab Program Erica Ziel tells us. "Especially when you focus on engaging your quads, lengthening tall through the top of your head, while moving slowly and focusing on connecting your breath with your core engagement. These tips can help give even more benefit from these plank slides." Ziel says you can modify these plank slides by placing your forearms on the edge of your coach or hands on the edge of a countertop.
How to do it: begin in a plank position on forearms and toes, keeping your legs together. Exhale as you engage your core and press your body forward (think “calf raise”). Inhale as you press your heals back (think stretching those calves). Repeat for 10-20 reps.
Staggered 4-arm Plank
"Using bodyweight, get into a plank position arms shoulder width apart, keep your shoulders down, push your heels back, squeeze your glutes & quads, zip up your core & maintain a flat back," McDowell says. "Then lower onto your 4-arms holding there start to move your hips side-to-side maintaining slow, fluid movements. Maintain your breath. Activate & squeeze your entire body, as well as stay on your 4-arms do NOT put your weight onto your elbows. Do NOT sink your glutes to avoid lower back pain," she advises.
"These Pilates twists will challenge your core strength as you move through each rep while encouraging your spine to grow taller and stronger with each repetition," Ziel says. "Focus on using your breath to initiate each twist by encouraging a deeper core activation, while also activating your quads and mid back. Feel free to modify these Pilates Twists by placing your hands on the edge of a couch or counter top."
How to do 'em: Begin in a side plank position, left foot just in front you right foot, with your right hand supporting you holding a side plank position. Exhale as you engage your core and quads, squeezing those legs together while sending your hips up towards the sky and away from your right hand. Focus on lengthening your spine as you move into this twist position.
Inhale as you control your return to side plank position. (optional: once back in the side plank position – reaching with your left arm open your chest towards the sky as you slightly extend your spine to feel even more engagement of your back.) Repeat for 3-6 reps then switch sides.