Strengthening the core is an excellent way to help your clients improve posture, move more efficiently and reduce their risk of injuries. Ideally, the muscles of the trunk and pelvis and the joints at the hip, lumbar spine (low back), thoracic spine (mid back) and shoulder work synergistically to create effective movement patterns. If your clients spend too much time seated during the day or if they have faulty movement patterns, this fluidness is disrupted and negatively impacts how they move and feel.
The lumber spine and scapula-thoracic joints create stability in the body. If the muscles and connective tissues of these areas are strengthened, it is easier to maintain control of that joint. Other joints, like the hip and glenohurmeral joint, allow for mobility at the articulation (where two bones meet) and ideally create an uninhibited range of motion around the joint.
Performing movement patterns that maintain stability and mobility in the trunk is essential and should be repeated daily. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or during an afternoon break, urge your clients to work on firing up the core with these functional core exercises.
Singe-leg Down-dog With Hip Opener
From a plank position on the hands, lift the right leg up toward the ceiling. Bend the knee and let the right foot fold over toward the left hip. Hold this stretch for a few seconds and then bring the leg down and draw the knee toward the left elbow. Repeat the movement again for 30 seconds before switching to the other leg. In addition to mobilizing the hip, the muscles surrounding the scapula should also be engaged to provide control to the shoulder.
Glute Bridge With Diagonal Arm Reach
Lie supine on the floor with the knees bent. Push the heels into the floor while engaging the glutes to lift up the hips. At the same time, reach back at a diagonal angle with one arm and touch the floor. Slowly tap the hips back on the floor while bringing the arm back to the side of the body. Continue for one minute and then repeat with the other arm for one minute.
Kneeling Arm Reach
On the floor, place the hands under the shoulders, bend the knees and lift the feet off the floor. Keep the torso stable at a 45-degree angle and slowly reach the right hand forward and then place it