Abdominal or core training should be a vital part of your workout routine. A strong core will help you perform better in sports and everyday life. Good posture and a strong lower back are a direct result of core training; also, that will make you feel better and make life just plain easier.
Many people, when they get older, experience a soft midsection and a weak lower back. When they begin to exercise again, and start to work their core, the sit-ups, crunches and weighted ab machines put more stress on your already aching back. These movements will just increase your discomfort and not effectively allow you to work your core.
To effectively train your core you will need to do exercises that cause your body in an unstable. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is with a balance pad. Balance pads was designed by fitness professionals to provide an unstable environment for abdominal training effectively.
The proper intensity, selection of core exercises, and frequency of core training will reduce your waistline, a measure of long-term health risk, not to mention the aesthetically pleasing benefit of six-pack abs. Incorporate my favorite core exercises to build core stability and enjoy that nicely toned belly or rock-hard abdominals.
Here is a list of my 5 favorite exercises using a balance pad:
With your elbows on the balance pad, body straight and extended, abs tight and rolling your pelvis forward slightly, will put you in a great position. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds.
2. Side Plank
Lie on side with elbow on your balance pad. Place forearm on balance pad under shoulder perpendicular to the body. Place upper leg directly on top of the lower leg and straighten knees and hips. Raise body upward by straightening your waist so the body is ridged. Hold position. Repeat with opposite side.
3. Mountain Climbers
Place both hands on your balance pad shoulder width apart. Put yourself in push-up position with arms fully straight and hold that position. Then begin to bring each leg up to the same side elbow or chest one at a time. It is important to keep your back straight. Mountain Climbers are not only a great core workout but is a full body workout. The muscles worked doing this movement are deltoids, triceps, obliques, rectus abdominals, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors, hip abductors. This movement combined with your hands being placed on your stability pad, make it one of my favorite core exercises. I like to do 30 repetitions total or 15 with each leg.
4. Scissor Kicks
In a seated position on your balance pad, lean back and extend your legs out in front of you 12 inches off the floor. No make an up and down short scissor motion with your legs. I like to do this as a timed movement for 30 seconds to a minute, doing as many scissor kicks as I can in that time frame, and feel the burn.
5. Seated Trunk Rotations
In a seated position on your balance pad sit in a balanced V position with knees slightly bent and feet crossed. Grab a weighted ball, kettlebell or a standard weight plate. Hold the weighted resistance apparatus out in front of you, and while keeping your body very still in the balanced V position, rotate the weight from one side to the other. I like to go hip to hip. You will feel this burn in your obliques.