Archive for the ‘Muscles’ Category
Posted by terrepruitt on March 19, 2013
While you are doing your plank you might notice some of the muscles involved in doing the plank. As I am sure you know, there are many variations to the plank. Many movement practices/exercise disciplines do planks. There is a plank in yoga, in Pilates, in weight training . . . you probably have seen it all over. That alone tells you that it is an exercise/pose worth doing right? We even do planks in Nia. If there is a version in so many different disciplines it could be that is because does a body good. The plank we are doing in our Plank A Day Challenge is the plank on our forearms as opposed to the plank where your arms are straight (the position of the “top” of a push-up). There are a lot of muscles used in this plank.
The muscles being used in a plank are the abdominal muscles, the back muscles, the muscles in the arms, the shoulders, leg muscles, and butt muscles. So pretty much muscles in every muscle group. You can understand why it is such a great exercise. It is a full body workout. So, while it might not utilize every muscles it calls upon a lot of them. If you are participating in the challenge you might even notice that the endurance in the muscles is improving.
I often think of the plank as a great exercise to work on your core. You might have heard “core” and “core muscles” before. You might even wonder what they are. And just like so many things there are so many answers. I think of the core as a muscle group. I think of the core muscles as the group that allows your body to remain stable and/or upright. So sometimes that could include your quads if you are standing or doing a plank.
Having a strong and stable core helps us accomplish everyday things. From sitting, to walking, to doing things with our arm as in pushing, pulling, carrying, etc. A strong trunk helps us when we need to work with are arms. Especially with our arms extended. If we are do something with our arms out, say opening a window, grabbing a grocery bag and bringing it towards you, or pushing something in to a vehicle for transport, you rely a lot on your torso. So when it is strong and stable it can support you while you do these task.
On top of the strong core having arms that are able to open windows, grab and hold groceries, pull them towards you or push things help with every day life too. Be able to do all of these everyday things might be one reason the plank is in so many exercise disciplines. It is a great functional exercise. It is understood that it can assist with muscle strength and endurance. And it is one of the exercises that gets a lot of muscles all at once!
Are you participating in our challenge? Are you feeling your muscles? You have probably felt the muscles used in a plank, right?
Posted in Core Muscles, Muscles, Planking | Tagged: abdominal exercise, core muscle group, Core Muscles, core workout, exercise, functional exercise, Nia, Nia exercises, Pilates, plank, plank a day challenge, plank challenge, plank muscles, planking, shoulder exercise, stable core, weight training, workout, Yoga | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 4, 2012
This is not like rolling out the red carpet or a ball of string because the hamstrings are not really strings at all. They are muscles in the leg. Well, actually the hamstrings are made up of three muscles, so it is a muscle group/set. The three muscles that are included in the muscle set are the Semimembranosus, the Semitendinosus, and the Biceps Femoris. They are on the back of the legs. You can see them on my Hamstrings post I put up back in 2009. According to The Muscle Book the word’s origination is “German: hamme – back of leg, Latin: stringere – to draw together.” The hamstrings are responsible for pulling your calf back towards your buttocks, and for extending the thigh. There are a lot of ways to stretch out and increase flexibility in the hamstrings. One way to treat tight hamstrings is with the foam roller. The foam roller is a great way to ease tight hamstrings. The roller can be used for a hamstring roll.
With many, many, many people working at desks all day, and sitting all day, tight hamstrings seems to be a common state of being for many people. The position of the knee when one sits in a chair is part of the function of the hamstrings . . . as I mentioned above . . .pulling the calf back towards the buttocks. So it is not unusual for people who sit a lot to have tight hamstrings. With tight hamstrings one cannot bend over and touch their toes or easily bend over to touch the floor. Sometimes tight hamstrings can even interfere with walking, the leg is not able to swing comfortably forward and/or allow the leg to straighten. Does that sound familiar? Maybe you have sat for a long time and when you stand up you don’t come up all the way and then your first few steps are short and your legs are tight. The foam roller can help with that. It is an easy massaging type of stretch that can be done watching TV or in between those long periods of sitting.
Using the full roller, sit on the roller with the roller positioned at your hamstrings (just under your glutes/butt), your legs are straight out in front of your body. Use your arms to support your body. The position of your arms is straight and under your shoulders supporting your weight. Using your arms, roll so that your legs roll over the foam roller. So you bring yourself backwards and tthen push yourself forward over the roller. The roller is rolling along the back of your legs, gently massaging your Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus, and the Biceps Femoris. You can do this for as long as you would like. It really is a great way to bring relief to tight hamstrings.
Sometimes tight hamstrings may contribute to lower back pain. When the hamstrings are tight they might cause the pelvis to tilt up increasing the strain on the lower back. So there are really a lot of reasons this easy roll with the foam roller might be something you want to do.
Do you have tight hamstrings? Does this sound like something that you would do to ease those tight hamstrings?
Posted in Foam Rollers, Hamstrings, Muscles | Tagged: and the Biceps Femoris, Foam Roller, Hamstrings, lower back pain, muscle group, muscle set, the Muscle Book, the Semimembranosus, the Semitendinosus, tight hamstrings | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 15, 2012
While Nia is not yoga nor is it a yoga class we do borrow from Yoga. We borrow some of the ideas and sometimes some of the poses. In one of the Nia routines we do the Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II). We do it both static where we just rest into it and we move in it, we bend our bent leg more and sink into it and come up. Then we do the Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana), then a version of the lunge, which depending upon your body could be a variation of the Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana), or the High Lunge (Utthita Ashva Sanchalanasana), or the Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) – all without the backbend. Then we straighten our leg into the Pyramid Pose/Intense Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana). With these poses we are using a lot of muscles. The muscles can be challenged in strength, stability, and/or flexibility. It all depends are your body at that moment.
When we do the Warrior II pose in this Nia routine the arms are extended out to the sides, opposite from each other, the hips, torso, chest, and shoulders are facing the mirror/front, while one of the legs is bent at a 90 degree angle and the foot is in line with the arm. The other leg is straight and the foot is slightly turned with the toes pointed toward the body and the heel pointed away. Of course participants have the option of having the foot at a right angle, but for this dance it is led with a slight angle. Even with that slight variation it is working the glutes (all of them), the thigh muscles: inner, outer, hamstrings, and the quadriceps, and your calf muscles. And for some, like me, who have a habit of scrunching the shoulders, it works the rhomboids while holding up the arms and keeping the shoulder blades down and pulled back. This is true for many yoga poses, that is why it is so great for encouraging straight posture.
Then for our Extended Side Angle Pose the arm, on the same side as the bent leg, is lowered, forearm to the thigh, the opposite arm is raised towards the sky and extended to a position that puts the arm next to the ear. There are options to stay in this modified Extended Side Angle or to move to another modification by removing the forearm from the thigh and placing that hand on the earth next to the inside arch of the foot. With this pose the primary work is in the bent leg. It is another pose that works the hamstrings and thigh muscles. Through the back of the straight leg and all along that side of the body there is a wonderful stretch, which is greater and more wonderful the better the body is as keeping the shoulder blades down and the back straight (not leaning forward).
We then move into a lunge with many options. As with all movements in Nia the responsibility falls on the participant to decide what it is their body is able to do and needs to do at that moment. We start off by placing the hands on the ground and straightening the foot on the leg that was straight in the Extended Side Angle Pose to be parallel with the foot on the bent leg. Then gently bring the back leg down resting the knee on the ground. As I said, many options so many places to go from here. One can stay here in Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana), or do a moving lunge by moving up and down, or go to High Lunge (Utthita Ashva Sanchalanasana), or come into an extended Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I) with the arms up but with a parallel back foot and a straight back. Here the body receives the benefit of a lunge no matter which one the body does. If doing the extended Warrior Pose I like pose, the glutes and thigh of the bent leg are getting a great deal of work, while the straight leg’s foot parallel to the other foot results in a slight change in the muscles being worked and stretched than with the angled foot position of a traditional Warrior I. The inner thigh gets less work while the work and stretch shifts almost entirely to the back of the leg, the hamstrings and calf. The arms extended up in the extended Warrior Pose I allows for work in the spinal extensors, deltoids, lats, and traps . . . . basically a lot of muscles in the back, including the ones that keep your shoulders down. With the crown of the head reaching towards the sky abs get a stretch too.
Moving from whichever lunge was done to the pyramid where the bent leg is straightened and the crown of the head is reaching over the leg while back is straight and chest is on or close to the straight leg. Of course, variations are offered and participants do what is right for their body to remain in the sensation of Joy. With this pose the sensation experienced is a great stretch. The leg to which the head/chest is close to get the largest stretch in the back. If the body is active with the leg and working to keep the knee cap up then the quadriceps will be engaged. The spine gets a nice stretch because the crown of the head is being reach over and down. The back leg might also feel a stretch in the hamstrings if the body is like many people’s and has tight hamstrings.
This is a small yoga-like sequence that we do as part of the cool down cycle of one of the Nia routines. Again, since Nia is not a Yoga class there are many options and variations that are offered that might not be part of a yoga class teaching strictly yoga. With all classes whether it be Nia, Yoga, Zumba, Jazzercise, whatever, the goal should be to give your body what it needs at that time. Bodies are constantly changing so the needs do too. The idea is not to force the body into a pose, but to allow the muscles and bones to sink into the pose, finding strength and flexibility along with openness in the joints and that constant sensation of Joy. This is a little review of movements that are Yoga or are very similar to Yoga, to explain some of the muscles we use in Nia.
Can you see how Nia can improve strength, stability, and flexibility?
Posted in Muscles, Nia | Tagged: back muscles, butt muscles, Extended Side Agnle Pose, Jazzercise, lunge, Nia, Nia class, Nia Moves, Nia routines, Pyramid, thigh muscles, Warrior I, Warrior II, Yoga, Yoga class, yoga poses, yoga sequence, Zumba | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 31, 2011
Not all of my posts on my list of Year End Review Of Terre’s 2011 Important Posts are Nia posts, but some of them are, Here are the remaining four of nine that I thought were important enough to re-share. This is the second half of my Year End Review Post. When I wrote it as one post, it just seemed too long so I split it up. Thanks for checking in. As with the first half, I am just going to give a little summary so you can have the main point right here and you don’t have to go to the original post. But if you WANT to go to the original post (and comment even) please do! I am listing these in order of when they were posted.
I think of this post Muscle Weighs More Than Fat as being something we all need to be reminded of. Muscle DOES NOT weigh more than fat. The saying that muscle weighs more is one of those things that a lot of us say, but it is not correct. A pound of muscle weighs as much as a pound of fat. A pound of anything cannot weigh more than a pound of something else. A pound of muscle will take up a lot less room than a pound of fat as you will see in the picture on this post if you click over. 😉
If you are interested in a dance class that is pretty, a class that produces a performance then Nia is probably not what you are looking for. Nia Might Not Be Pretty — To Some. Nia is about authentic movement. Nia is about moving the body the way it was designed to be moved. Not everyBODY can move the way it was designed. There might be injuries, defects, tightness, or just plain ol’ non-use involved so it might not be pretty as we learn to move. But it is beautiful. This post reminds you that it is what it is and what it is not is a performance. A Nia class is freedom of movement, something to be enjoyed from the angle of the participant and not someone watching.
I have a post about listening with love, but the title is Let Love Be Your Ears. Ya know sometimes titles need to intrigue a potential reader, I was hoping that is what this title was. But the post is about listening with love. We all have heard and some of us might try to live by the old “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But LISTENING with love is different. Not that common of a “golden rule”. We are not always taught we need to love ourselves, so we might not listen as if people are talking to us with love and not accusations and criticisms. This might be something we have to practice. Also listening with love can include giving the person talking a lot of “benefit of the doubt”. Trying to see where they might be coming from.
Another post is about dance being exercise. It is a reminder that you can have fun and get exercise at the same time. Nia is just that!
So that is the last four on my list of posts I think really could use repeating. I know I picked a few because I need to work on some of them/it myself. I hope that you enjoyed either the summary or the posts themselves. I thank you very much for taking the time to read this. If you have been reading my blog and you recognize some of these I thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to read. If you take the time to read and comment, I am really grateful and I very much appreciate it.
And, of course, I wish you a very happy and safe New Year’s Eve. I wish you many, many, many opportunities to embrace happiness and experience joy in 2012. Happy New Year.
Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Misc, Muscles, Nia | Tagged: 2012, 30 minute meals, dance exercise, fat is light, Happy New Year, listen with love, muscle is heavy, New Year's Eve, Nia, Nia balance, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia freedom, Nia is for everybody, Nia Movement, Nia participant, Nia posts, Nia Practice, posts about Nia, ten minute exercise, the body's way, Year End Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 28, 2011
If you are going to embark on doing the Ten Minute Workout, you can do it without a ball, a band, and/or a BOSU. You definitely don’t need those things. I would think if you were planning on exercising at home you would have at least one set of dumbbells. The issue might be that your dumbbells are too light. Since I do not know your fitness level or your goals, please keep in mind that I am speaking in general and that YOU are responsible for your health and well-being. With your goals established you need to use the proper weight. The following information is to give you ideas on how to do things differently than originally proposed in the Ten Minute Workout, but you are responsible for doing things safely. If you have questions on what to do to help you reach your goals let me know. Listed are the exercises of the ten that required either a stability ball, a resistance band, and/or a BOSU.
Keep in mind it all depends on what you want the results to be.
(#3) – Squats: You can do squats standing on the ground. The BOSU added the extra element of having to balance. If you don’t have a BOSU and you still want to work on balance while you do squats, you could try doing them on an inflatable pool float. Be careful! But you will notice that standing on something with air in it makes you have to balance more than just standing on the ground. If you think about it that is what a BOSU is. It is just plastic filled with air. If you don’t have something inflatable you can stand on, you can still get a little balance work in by holding something somewhat heavy in one hand. Or even try a bottle of water and let the water slosh around. Do five, then switch hands. Or you could just close your eyes. You would be amazed at how much that throws off people’s balance.
(#4) – Triceps kickbacks: For this you don’t want the weight to be too heavy. You should be able to complete the ten, but not necessarily too fast or easy. And don’t have the weight be too heavy that you have to swing it to get the movement done.
(#5) – Hamstring curls: With this you can either lay on your stomach and put a weight between your feet/ankles and pull your feet back to your butt. Down to the ground and back to your butt. Or you can stand and “Kick” your butt, one leg at a time. (Yeah, the same move we used to do in Jazzercise.)
(#8) – Push ups: Use the ground instead of the BOSU. Or something higher (STABLE coffee table, stair, whatever works and can be incorporated into your “gym”) than the ground if you prefer
(#9) – Bent over lateral raises: I actually like these better with a dumbbell. Remember that the details about your shoulders still apply. Hold a weight in each hand, bent over slightly and with a straight back, and open and close your arms. This weight will probably need to be less than the one you are using for your biceps curls. But again, it depends on YOU and your goals. That is not a definitive statement, just a general one.
(#10) – Stability ball pass: Well, without the ball it is really just a V Sit-up. Lay down raise your legs while rising up with shoulders and arms to meet your legs. You body forms a V. Arms over your head while you lower upper body and legs to the ground. If you don’t have a stability ball you would always try using a different ball, but that is up to you. Either way it is a V sit-up.
Does that help? Remember the basic form of the exercise still applies; straight back, only forearms moving, etc. or whatever applied to the original exercise. I am not aware of what equipment you have but there is always something to do without any equipment at all. Even without dumbbells. Body weight exercise are great. If you have any questions let me know. ALSO, please feel free to SHARE what you do use or what you workout with.
Posted in Hamstrings, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: 10 minute exercise, 10 minute workout, BOSU, crunch. weights, dumbbell, exercise ball, exercise band, hamstring, hamstring curls, Jazzercise, resistance, resistance band, sit ups, Sit-up, specificity, stability ball sit up, ten exercises in 10 minutes, ten minute workout, ten reps, ten/ten/ten, tricep, triceps, Triceps kick backs, twenty exercises in ten minutes, workout for 10 minutes | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 14, 2011
In putting together the exercises for a Ten Minute Workout, I wanted to get a quick “full body” workout. I understand that this ten minutes might not target the ENTIRE body, but it gets most of it. Plus I was trying to use the exercise equipment that I have. I was bothered by the fact that I had these toys and I didn’t use them. So I was thinking of exercises that utilized them. Although, all of these exercises can be modified to be done without the equipment. This Hamstring curl uses the stability ball.
Lie on your back with your calves/ankles on the stability ball. Push your hips up into a bridge. Pull the ball, rolling it towards your butt so your feet end up on it and your knees are up. Then roll it out. Your arms can be wherever they are most comfortable. Arms can be used to help stabilize your body. It could be at first that your body has a tendency to roll to one side or you feel as if you are going to tip over. 🙂 That is part of the exercise. You are using your hamstrings to pull the ball back, but you might be engaging your arms a lot to stabilize your body as you learn this exercise. Eventually your legs will be able to control the ball AND your balance without really USING your arms.
Each time the ball rolls towards your butt count that as one.
How is that for you? What questions come up?
Posted in Hamstrings, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: 10 minute exercises, 10 minute workout, exercise, exercise ball, exercise equipment, exercise program, full body workout, Hamstrings, phsyio ball, stability ball, ten exercises in 10 minutes, ten minute workout, ten reps, ten/ten/ten | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 2, 2011
Here is the Ten Minute Workout with some explanation. Questions and comments welcome.
1 – Long lunges: lunge with a long step with a dumbbell in each hand down at your side then come back up to standing. Each “step” is one.
2 – Biceps Curls: hold a dumbbell in each hand, keep upper arms still bring dumbbell to bicep and then down.
3 – Squats: lower down as if you are going to sit in a chair then stand up while standing on the flat side of the BOSU.
4 – Triceps kickbacks: each hand holding one end of the resistance band, arms are pulled back with elbows back (past your ribs), pull the band back straightening the arm (only forearms move) while standing on the band on the flat side of the BOSU in a slightly bent over position. Keep a straight back.
5 – Hamstring curls: lie down legs on the stability ball (the ball is about half way up the calf) and pull the ball back rolling it towards your butt and then roll it back out while in bridge position.
6 – Sit ups: knees up feet on floor lift shoulders off the floor, then lift more, somewhat more of a crunch.
7 – Triceps Extensions: weights in hands behind your head (hands are close together or even holding both weights), elbows pointed to the sky, lift weights to the sky only moving at the elbow straightening your arms.
8 – Push ups: using the BOSU (round side on ground).
9 – Bent over lateral raises with band: each hand holding one end of the band, open arms out to side while standing on the band on the flat side of the BOSU in a slightly bent over position. Keep a straight back.
10 – Stability ball pass: lie down hold ball between your feet/ankles raise your legs holding the ball while rising up with shoulders and arms to meet your legs (as in a V sit-up) grab the ball bringing it over your head to the floor. Lift up back up lifting legs and give the ball back to our legs. (Count “one” at each ball touch down)
As with ANY exercise or exercise program, be careful and be sure you are able to safely do the exercise you engage in. If you need doctor’s clearance, be sure to get it.
Do ten repetitions of these ten exercises in ten minutes. Repeat if time allows.
What questions do you have? Let me know.
Posted in Hamstrings, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: 10 minute exercise, 10 minute workout, BOSU, crunch. weights, dumbbell, exercies band, exercise, exercise ball, exercise program, hamstring curls, long lunges, resistance, resistance band, sit ups, Sit-up, specificity, stability ball sit up, ten exercises in 10 minutes, ten minute workout, ten reps, ten/ten/ten, tricep, triceps, Triceps kick backs, twenty exercises in ten minutes, workout for 10 minutes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 20, 2010
I subbed a Nia class in another part of San Jose today and so I had a different group of participants, and the routine we did today has a lot of bows in it. Watching the class do the bow stance made me think of how a bow is somewhat of a lunge. Reminded me how we really do work a lot of muscles in our Nia workouts with all of the different exercises we do. The bow stance is one of Nia’s 52 Moves.
Did you know you Quadriceps are made up for four muscles? Maybe, but since we always say, “quads” we might be thinking of them as one muscle. Of course, when we stop to think about it we understand that “quad” means four so it makes sense that quadriceps is four muscles.
Basically they work together. It is not as if you can work just one. Our quads extend the leg and flex the thigh. They move our thigh towards our chest and kick our foot out (as an example). Quads would be included in a “Push” workout. Lunges and squats target the quadriceps.
I am pretty sure you knew that the quadriceps were four muscles, but I thought I would just remind you.
Posted in Muscles | Tagged: bows stance, class workout, exercise class, exercise routine, lunges, Muscles, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia routine, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, push workout, Quadriceps, quads, San Jose exercise, San Jose Nia, San Jose Workout, squats | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 18, 2010
Nia thinks of the pelvis, chest, and head as the core of the body. Nia is not defining the core muscles or a core muscle group, Nia just includes these three body weights as the core of the body.
The core is Nia White Belt Principle #8.
Alignment of these three weights affects so many things; energy, bones, muscles, organs. If the alignment is not as it should be all of these things could be affected.
Movement can help properly align these three weights. Often times some areas of our bodies are stiff and/or tight and by moving our body as it was designed to be moved the stiffness gets worked out and the tightness goes away. Sometimes that is what is needed to assist in proper alignment. Other times it might be strengthening or just moving your body in a way it is not accustomed to move.
As an example of how we guide a body to alignment, we utilize the bow stance in Nia routines. A great exercise while in the bow stance is to move the pelvis in all directions. Moving the pelvis in all directions while in this stance allows for the body to gain or retain mobility. Mobility in the hips and the spine. Movement of the pelvis releases energy and muscle tension. This type of movement also requires strength in the torso and leads up to the chest and head. While circling or waving the hips the body falls on and off balance and the chest and head must be used to stay upright. All of this contributes to stability, flexibility, and strength.
We often dance our chest in Nia. We move our ribs to open them and keep the muscles in between mobile. We breath deep. We makes sounds. We use our chest to guide us in our workout, giving us a different way to move. This releases blocked energy.
Nia encourages movement of the head in our routines. We are often moving our head on its own or to lead us through a move. We employ our hands and our eyes to help us move our head. Not all cardio workout classes employ the use of the head and it seems as if a lot of people are just plain ol’ not used to moving their head. So caution is always recommended. Since moving the head stimulates two chakras it is sometimes very powerful and some people get dizzy until they are used to it.
When these three body weights are in alignment sense calm. When our body is strong yet flexible and capable of mobility it assist us in keep our body weights aligned correctly even when we move we feel confident and have a sense of wellness.
The Nia White Belt Manual* has over 15 pages addressing the pelvis, chest, and head. I think that means that there will be more posts regarding the core and/or its parts, because Nia has a lot of information that I can share about the core.
*The Nia White Belt Manual was created by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas as was Nia (the Nia Technique). All of this information is based off of information from their trainings and the White Belt Manual and the Nia Technique Book
Posted in Core Muscles, Nia | Tagged: Bow Stance, Carlos AyaRosas, Carlos Rosas, chakras, core muscle group, Core Muscles, Debbie Rosas, flexibility, Nia, Nia and the Core, Nia routines, Nia Technique, Nia White Belt, Nia White Belt Manual, pelvis movement, Principle #8, strength, three body weights, White Belt | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 16, 2010
You can look up “core muscles” and find that different people include different muscles in the group considered the “core muscle group”. But unless you are going to get that specific and train just one muscle in the group then you really don’t need to figure out which person is right. It would serve you just as well to do a variety of exercises that strengthen your “core” and more than likely you are going to be working the various different sets that the different people are including in the “core muscle group”. What can help is to think of the “core” not just as the abdominals. That is very limiting. If you think of the core as center from which you need to be strong and stable then you will possibly have a larger picture of what the core is and understand that it is more than just your abdominals.
You need a strong center to be stable and balanced while you are manipulating your limbs. If you keep that in mind you might realize that it is the back of your body as well as the front AND extending further down your legs than you first might have realized.
Doing a variety of crunches and sit-ups, including V-sit-ups and side crunches, will work your abdominals. Wood chops help with the entire trunk area. Push-ups are great because they require you to keep your abs tight for a great workout of them.
Bridges (lying on the floor and pushing your pelvis up), work the lower back muscles as well as the hips and glutes.
Lunges are great because they work your quadriceps and glutes. If you put some trunk twist into it with or without a weight you are adding another dimension to it and getting your trunk area.
Squats can help as they get the quads and glutes too.
Exercises that require you to balance yourself are going to help you with all those stabilizing muscles. These will strengthen your “core” as well as keeping it trained and at the ready for you when you need them to stabilize you.
So, do you really need to know that in a squat you are using your multifidus and quadratus lumborum (among other muscles) or does it just help to know that if you do them you are strengthening muscles that will assist you in having a strong a stable core? I believe it is good just to think about the “core muscles” as being the groups and groupings of muscles from the top of your chest down to your knees, front and back.
Posted in Core Muscles, Muscles | Tagged: abdominals, balance exercises, bridges, core muscle group, Core Muscles, cunches, glutes, hips, lower back muscles, lunges, push-ups, quardriceps, sit ups, stabilizers | 2 Comments »