Core exercises are key to maintaining good spine health. Without a good strong core, we run the risk of hurting our backs in normal activities, let alone in exercise. We decided to look at a great exercise for improving your core strength and protecting your back. We have called it Superman Core and it will be working your abs, pelvic floor and hip extensors.
This exercise can be quite hard on the wrists, therefore, we suggest that you regularly stretch back into childs pose to release the pressure.
First of all, get yourself into what we call a four-point setup. Kneel on a mat to protect your knees. Position your knees under your hips, hinge forward from the hip and place your hands on the floor. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders. To make this exercise safe, you should take time to perfect this starting position. Most importantly you should ensure your abdominal muscles are pulled in and your pelvic floor is pulled up.
Try to make sure your shoulders aren’t hunched up to your ears. Think of looking slightly ahead of your hands on the floor. Remember, your spine should be long and straight with no dip or hump. And you should be able to breathe easily in this position.
Keep your weight evenly distributed and lift one arm by your ear, hold and recover. Repeat with the other arm. Make sure your spine stays strong and long and that your abs don’t drop. Importantly, you should be able to do this without hunching your shoulders. So, draw the shoulder blades back and down but don’t arch the spine. Keep repeating right and left and don’t forget to breathe.
Now, it’s time to concentrate on the legs. Again, keep the weight evenly distributed between your hips, with the spine long and the core engaged. Lift one leg to hip level, making sure the foot and knee are facing the floor to prevent external rotation in the hip. Hold and recover. Repeat with the other leg. Again you should make sure your hips don’t sway and the weight remains evenly distributed. This will probably take some time to master, particularly if you remember to breathe!
When you are comfortable with this, you are ready to try combining the top and bottom together.
As before, make sure your starting position is stable with your spine long and core engaged. To start with, take the opposite arm and leg out, but keep them on the floor. This will allow you to test your balance.
Finally, lift your right leg to hip level and hold it. Carefully, lift your left arm to by your ear. Hold that position without wobbling or letting your core relax. Recover and repeat with the other limbs. Remember that it should be the opposite arm and leg off the floor!!
Now go back into childs pose to release the spine and wrists.