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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fitness Tip - Core Training

The most forgotten position in core training

Story by guest columnist Dr. Josh Satterlee, co-owner of Boom 702

You can’t open a fitness magazine without hearing all about “The Core”. This is a broad term that refers to the muscles throughout your abdomen, back and backside (glutes). These muscles stabilize you when you move, help transmit power when you run or throw and also appeal to members of the opposite sex.

Looking for some specific exercises that not only work but also are a lot of fun? At any gym, most core training is done lying on the floor. This position is very limiting in range of motion and rotation. Your ability to control your pelvis is turned off. Let’s fix all of this and actually work your core with one simple position—half kneeling.

Half Kneeling

Half kneeling is kneeling on one knee while the opposite foot is flat on the ground about 12 inches in front. Young children spend a lot of time in this position in the “cruising” stage, and for good reason. Having one knee down is our body’s first introduction to single-leg activities like walking and running. Half-kneeling is also where we first learn balance—and it’s this balance that will help challenge you in your new core routine.

While you are in half-kneeling, imagine getting your spine as long as you can and being able to have a vertical line from your down knee to your hip to your shoulder and through your ear. Maintain this position while performing any of the following exercises.

This position produces many fun and challenging exercises. Here are a few:

Half-Kneeling Chops: Using a cable column machine set in the high position, kneel next to it so that your left knee is down on the side away from the cable machine. With both hands, grasp the handles high over your right shoulder, pull them to your chest, then press the handles down toward your left hip. To get an extra challenge, rotate your body as you press the weight down. It’s similar to chopping wood, hence the name. Perform 8 to 10 repetitions, and then switch sides. If you do this correctly, you will definitely feel your oblique muscles fire up and your “six-pack” muscles will get a great work out too!

Half-Kneeling Lifts: These are just the opposite of the previous exercise. Switch your down knee to now be closer to the cable machine. Set the machine to the low position. Starting with the handle low, next to your down knee, take the handles (with both hands) to your chest, then up and over your opposite shoulder. Add some rotation for extra challenge. You’ll quickly notice this is tougher than the chop, and you may have to lower the weight. Perform 8 to 10 reps, then switch knees and switch sides. This exercise requires a lot of strength from your glutes as well as your obliques.

Half-Kneeling Single Arm Press: This is often thought of as an upper body exercise, but it is just as challenging to the core. With your right knee down, keep your spine nice and tall. Grasp a dumbbell in your left hand. Bring the dumbbell to shoulder height, and press it straight to the ceiling 10 times. With the weight in one hand, your body will want to tip sideways. To keep this from happening, your core kicks in and fires up. Remaining stable for 10 reps is a real challenge! Switch knees and hands and repeat. Not only will your arm and shoulder feel it, but also the core muscles on your opposite side will light up!

As you get stronger with these exercises, you’ll quickly notice increased strength, better balance, and you’ll definitely notice muscles that haven’t been there before! 

Boom 702

10909 S. Eastern Ave., Henderson



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