Last month we shared several core-training exercises to help you strengthen that ever-important part of your body where spine and legs connect. We continue this month with a few more to add to your training routine.
Strengthen the large gluteus maximus muscles that provide most of the strength for forward locomotion with this exercise, which also actively stretches your hip flexors, reducing lower-back discomfort.
STEP 1: Lie on your back, knees bent with feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart, toes facing straight out. Gently contract your abdominal muscles to stabilize the core. Attempt to maintain this muscle contraction throughout the exercise.
STEP 2: Gently exhale and contract your glutes to press your hips upwards off the floor, pressing your heels into the floor for stability, for 2-3 seconds. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor for 3-4 seconds and repeat for 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
FORWARD LUNGE WITH ARM DRIVERS
This exercise places emphasis on the glute and back muscles, creating the strength needed to provide stability for running and other every-day activities such as lifting a bag of groceries.
STEP 1: Stand with your feet together and arms raised straight out to shoulder level, elbows fully extended.
STEP 2: Step forward with your right leg, pressing your heel to the ground and dropping your hips towards the floor. Allowing your left knee to bend, lower your body until your right thigh is parallel with the floor, shinbone slightly forward. Drive your extended arms towards the floor and keep arms extended as you return to starting position and repeat with left leg. Complete 6-8 repetitions with each leg.
These exercises and many more can be found in the American Council on Exercise library available at acefitness.org.
These exercises come courtesy of Pete McCall, MS, CSCS, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). McCall has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Times, Personal Fitness Professional, Club Life and Self. Outside of his work responsibilities, he serves on the content review committee for ptonthenet.com, a website dedicated to educating fitness professionals worldwide.