MOVEMENT

Clear to the Core

By 24Life

The clearer and more aware you are about yourself and your goals, the stronger you are. And the stronger your core, the more freedom you have to move forward.

As in life, so in fitness. Get clear and specific in your movement and stable and mobile in your core strength—and you’ll find that anything and everything is possible for you. This workout is simple and secretly challenging but worth every repetition.

  • Perform each movement for 60 to 90 seconds or as noted, and then hold still for a few seconds before proceeding to the next movement.
  • Take full, conscious breaths, inhaling and exhaling as you move.
  • Repeat one to two rounds.

MOVEMENT PREP

Standing Shoulder Stretch

  • Stand tall and clasp your hands behind your back. Roll your shoulders back and down, and lift your hands away from your back to open your chest.
  • Unclasp your hands, cross your arms in front of your chest and bend your elbows to 90 degrees, bringing the tops of your forearms together. Try to cross your wrists to wrap the fingers of your bottom hand around the palm of your top hand.
  • Lift your clasped arms gently to the ceiling.
  • Uncross your arms and cross them again, switching what was the bottom arm to become the top arm. Try to cross your wrists and wrap your hands, and lift again.

Standing Knee Hug

  • Stand tall and shift your weight to your left leg. Bend your right knee and lift it to your chest.
  • Clasp your hands around your knee and gently pull.
  • Return to standing and repeat with your left knee.

Standing Hip Stretch

  • Stand tall with your hands on your hips.
  • Bend your right knee, lift your right foot and sit back into a half-squat as you cross your right ankle over your left knee.
  • Press your right knee out to open your hips.
  • Return to standing and repeat with your left leg.

Balance Challenge

  • Stand tall, holding a medicine ball in front of your hips.
  • Shift your weight to your left leg and hinge forward, lifting your right leg straight behind you as you raise the medicine ball in front of you. Your right leg, torso and extended arms should be parallel to the floor.
  • Return to standing and repeat with your left leg.
  • Engage your core and keep your hips square for stability, and make sure your neck stays neutral.

WORKOUT

Roll-Up

  • Lie on the floor with your legs straight and your arms extended to the ceiling.
  • Engage your abs, keep your legs on the floor and roll up to sitting. Your body should resemble an L.
  • Roll your torso to the floor and repeat.

Elevated Plank

  • Begin on your hands and knees, with your toes resting on a medicine ball.
  • Engage your core and lift your hips and knees. Let the ball roll back and/or walk your hands forward until your hands and wrists are stacked under your shoulders and your body forms a strong, straight line from head to heels.
  • Hold the position for 60 to 90 seconds.

Side-Plank Rotation

  • Lie on your left side, resting on your left elbow with your feet staggered, left foot in front of right. Your left elbow should be lined up directly under your shoulder.
  • Extend your right hand to the ceiling, engage your abs and lift your hips into a side plank.
  • Bend your right elbow and rotate your body to pass your right hand under your ribs. Let your feet rotate so that you come onto your toes.
  • Rotate back to side plank and lower your hips to return to your starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

Back Stability

  • Lie prone on the floor with your legs straight and your arms extended overhead.
  • Engage your core and lift your arms and legs to the ceiling.
  • Open your arms and legs as wide as possible and then bring them together.
  • Continue opening and closing your arms and legs, focusing on keeping your arms on the same plane and contracting your upper back muscles to bring the bottom of your shoulder blades together.

Back Mobility

  • Lie prone on the floor with your legs straight. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders.
  • Press into the floor and lift your torso. Keep your shoulders rolled back and down, away from your ears, and gently lift your chin and gaze to maximize the bend in your spine.

Core Stability

  • Lie on your back on the floor, holding a medicine ball at your chest. Bend your knees, extend your feet to the ceiling, and press the medicine ball to the ceiling so that your arms and legs form 90-degree angles with your torso.
  • Engage your abs and keep your legs straight and zipped together. Lower your legs toward the floor, and then lift them to the starting position.
  • Continue to raise and lower your legs.

Core Mobility

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet planted. Plant your hands on the floor behind or just outside of your hips, fingertips pointing forward.
  • Engage your core, lift your feet and exhale as you crunch your knees to your chest.
  • Inhale as you lean back and extend your legs. Let your feet hover above the floor.
  • Continue repeating the sequence of crunching and extending.

Elevated Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, your knees bent and the soles of your feet resting on a medicine ball.
  • Engage your abs as you lift your hips to the ceiling. Pause at the top of the bridge before releasing and lowering your hips to the ground.
  • Continue to raise and lower your hips.

STRETCH AND RELAXATION

Hip Stretch

  • Lie on the floor with your legs extended and your arms outstretched to shoulder height on each side.
  • Keeping your legs straight, lift your right leg to the ceiling.
  • Keeping your shoulders pressed to the floor, lower your right leg across your body to your left.
  • Return to center and lower your right leg.
  • Lift your left leg to repeat the sequence on the other side. Continue, alternating sides.

Final Relaxation

  • Begin on your hands and knees.
  • Lower your hips until you’re sitting on your heels and your arms are fully extended in Child Pose. Let the tops of your feet and your forehead rest on the floor.
  • When you’re ready, slowly sit up and shift your hips to the floor so that you can extend your legs and lie on your back with your arms at your sides in Corpse Pose.

Video & Photo credit: Mark Kuroda, kurodastudios.com
Model: Jennifer Nassab, 24 Hour Fitness

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