Functional core exercises

Here\’s some more functional exercises to try! While they are mostly focused on engaging and using your core (a strong core is absolutely critical to so many fundamental movements), the compound movements also engage other areas and can be incorporated into HIIT workouts. Although I did these in the gym (I do not currently workout in the gym due to the pandemic and safety concerns), they can also be done at home or outside. And please modify these exercises for your fitness level and for the space in which you are doing them… send a comment on how it goes when you try them or if there are any questions about the movements… work hard family!!! #makeyourownmold

While trying/doing these exercises, it is absolutely critical to remember that form is much more important that volume, weight, or length of time. You\’ll see me repeat this often. While all of us would love to have the 6 pack washboard abs, what\’s absolutely more important to the function of the body is simply a strong core. These exercises will definitely improve your core strength. Melting the fat around them is done mostly in the kitchen 🙂

Hollow hold with medicine ball swing. Engage the core (tighten your core muscles like at the end of a sneeze) when lifting while keeping your feet off the ground and parallel with your body (my feet need to be lower, yikes!). Also try to keep the shoulder blades off the ground. As using the medicine ball is an advanced move, simply extend your arms parallel to your body for the basic hollow hold. If you cannot do :30 sec, try 5 or 10 seconds. The key is to have correct form before you increase the time

Hollow Hold with 4lb medicine ball swing

V-ups with knee touches. This is a variation on regular V-ups. Same movement, and remember that your feet should not touch the ground until your are done. Either go for reps or for time. Correct form is more important than volume or length of time. Build up slowly

V-ups with knee touches

Russian Twists. One misconception about doing Russian twists is that you need to turn completely to each side in order to get the full benefit. While that is definitely a full range of motion, it\’s not entirely necessary to get the benefit from this exercise. About a quarter twist or so is truly all that\’s needed to really engage the obliques and core for this exercise. Understanding the range of motion necessary an really help beginners use this great core exercise. Remember to keep your feet off the ground, your core is your balancing/stabilizing mechanism.

Russian twists with medicine ball – side view

Here\’s the same Russian twists exercise as above, just from the front. It\’s a little easier to see how much or how little movement is needed in order to engage the core for this

Russian twists with medicine ball – front view

Bird Dogs with crunch. While this exercise seems simple, being able to maintain balance and engaging the core creates the resistance and muscle memory necessary for the true benefit of this movement. The key points here are trying to keep a neutral back when extending your arm and leg. When the extended legs and shoulders are kept parallel to the ground, you will feel the burn!

Bird Dogs with crunch

Static Dumbbell Curls. Dumbbell curls are a great single movement for muscle development of the upper arm. You can use the supinated grip (palms facing up) or a neutral grip (hammer grip) when performing this exercise. You\’ll see I used the supinated grip in this video. The key for static dumbbell curls is 2 parts – 1) keep the static arm fully engaged and in place, while 2) the active arm should keep the elbow in place while curling the dumbbell. Again, form is way more important than volume or weight. Don\’t get macho and try to do this exercise because bad form will create more imbalances with your body and potentially injury for overcompensation… I believe I used 15lb dumbbells in this clip. Modify the exercise for you level of fitness and build from that…

Static dumbbell curls

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