Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.

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Does your core measure up? Time to test, or retest!

Flying Baby Pose

This is Lucia. Lucia’s not at the point yet where she’s worried about growing a Muffin Top, but very soon she’ll be taking her first steps and given that she’s already working on a strong core, I see great athletic promise in her future.

In case you’ve forgotten, “core strength” refers to the muscles of your abs and back and their ability to support your spine, keep your body stable and balanced. A strong core basically supports every physical movement you make. It’s the body’s center of power, the stronger you’re core, the easier your life will be. This means, riding your bike, running, picking up your kid, a watermelon, surviving that killer boot camp class or simply getting out of bed.

Wondering how your core measures up? I was, so I found a test for us to take. The senior athletics coach with the United Kingdom’s National Governing body for Track and Field developed it. It’s a good one! Give it a try it only takes 3 minutes. If you fail, there’ll be a link at the bottom of this post where you can find core strengthening exercises.

The Core Muscle Strength & Stability Test
The objective of this evaluation is to monitor the development and improvements of core strength.

To prepare for the assessment you will need:
Flat surface
Watch or clock with second counter

Conducting the Test
Position the watch or clock where you can easily see it

Start in the Plank Position (elbows on the ground)
Hold for 60 seconds

Lift your right arm off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return your right arm to the ground and lift the left arm off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return your left arm to the ground and lift the right leg off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return your right leg to the ground and lift the left leg off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Lift your left leg and right arm off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return you left leg and right arm to the ground

Lift your right leg and left arm off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return to the Plank Position (elbows on the ground)
Hold this position for 30 seconds

Good Core Strength – If you can complete the test fully, you have good core strength.

Poor Core Strength – If you cannot complete the test fully, your core strength needs improvement. If you are unable to complete the test practice the routine three or four times each week until you improve. By comparing your results over time, you will note improvements or declines in core strength.

I hope you’ll try the test. It certainly couldn’t hurt to know where you stand. If you want to work on your core check out this site for a really comprehensive list of core exercises you can do anywhere.

Go get ‘em…

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Workin’ off my muffin

Workin' it!

Get a Hula Hoop.  Use it to have some fun and get a little exercise. There are classes and videos and all sorts of suggested uses for a Hula Hoop. Even Marisa Tomei has gotten in on the action with her own video and hoopBody Kit.

I’ve just ordered a weighted hoop (2 lbs); they say they’re easier to operate and I would guess allow for a better workout.  Either way, I intend to use mine as a vehicle for laughter and to work my core. Remember, my Ab Challenge? Maybe even one day I’ll try a Hooping class but for now it’ll be a fun way to break up my core workout.  A few crunches here, a few turns of the hoop there. Get where I’m comin’ from?

For inspiration have a look at this video. It’s called April Curvy Hooping. While you might think this sister could use a little more core work she’s clearly fitter than she looks and I think one hot Hooper! Seriously…take a second to click on the link.

(And yes, the Hula Hoop will be making an appearance at one of my Fitness Walk workouts one day soon…)

Make me proud! See you back here on Monday…