Core

Main exercise list.

90/90 Crunch

90/90 Crunch Variations:  For this exercise, you lie supine with your hips flexed to 90 degrees and your knees bent to 90 degrees.  Your heels should be supported on a chair.  Squeeze a rubber ball between your knees to help activate your deep core muscles.  A rubber ball is particularly well suited for this because it pushes back against your legs.  Begin the exercise by contracting your pelvic floor muscles as you would in a Kegel exercise.  Then draw in your navel by contracting your transverse abdominals.  As you curl up, keep your navel drawn in.  If your abdomen protrudes during the exercise, you will be causing undo pressure in your lower back.  The goal is not to complete the biggest motion possible, done properly, you will only be able to curl up far enough to get your shoulder blades off of the floor.  Your eyes should look at the ball as you curl up.  Keep the ball squeezed throughout the exercise.  Drop your shoulders toward your hips to connect them to your core by way of the serratus anterior and external oblique muscles.  One variation is to have your arms at your sides.  A slightly more difficult version is to cross your arms on your chest and for a greater challenge, you can place your hands gently behind your head.

Assisted Roll Down

Bird Dog Progression

Bridge With Ball

Chop In Half Kneeling

This is the “Chop In Half Kneeling” video. We are using the eponymous “Cook Band” (a fancy Theraband) and a homemade “Cook Bar” (aka: chop and lift bar–available from the ‘Perform Better’ catalog– I recommend the one with the fatter handle). You can also attach the bar to a cable pulley machine.  Either method works well, the Theraband version is a bit more challenging and has the option of introducing the element of speed once the form is perfected.

You can do this exercise without the chop and lift bar.  Simply perform the same motion grasping the band.  On a cable pulley machine, the rope attachment works well.  The bar is preferred as it introduces a greater amount of torque into the exercise.

Posture is king in this exercise and maintaining ones balance is more important than how much resistance you use.  Make your torso tall and erect with 80% of your weight on the rear knee. An Airex pad under the knee both pads and protects the knee as well as adding an element of instability.

Once your form is perfected here, you can progress these exercises to standing in a split stance. If you can’t maintain posture, don’t stand up.

Performing the upper body rolling patterns and thoracic spine rotational stretches prior to doing the chops or lifts is recommended.

Chop In Kneeling

This is the “Chop In Kneeling” video. We are using the eponymous “Cook Band” (a fancy Theraband) and a homemade “Cook Bar” (aka: chop and lift bar–available from the ‘Perform Better’ catalog– I recommend the one with the fatter handle). You can also attach the bar to a cable pulley machine with the pulley in a high position.  Either method works well, the Theraband version is a bit more challenging and has the option of introducing the element of speed once the form is perfected.

You can do this exercise without the chop and lift bar.  Simply perform the same motion grasping the band.  On a cable pulley machine, the rope attachment works well.  The bar is preferred as it introduces a greater amount of torque into the exercise.

Posture is king in this exercise and maintaining ones balance is more important than how much resistance you use.  Make your torso tall and erect and you are balanced. An Airex pad under the knee both pads and protects the knee as well as adding an element of instability. For added stability, you can squeeze a soft rubber ball between your knees.

Once your form is perfected here, you can progress these exercises to standing.  If you can’t maintain perfect posture, don’t stand up.

Performing the upper body rolling patterns and thoracic spine rotational stretches prior to doing the chops or lifts is recommended.

Cook Bridge

Kettle Bell Half Get Up

Lift In Half Kneeling

Lifts: This is the “Lift In Half Kneeling” video. We are using the eponymous “Cook Band” (a fancy Theraband) and a homemade “Cook Bar” (aka: chop and lift bar–available from the ‘Perform Better’ catalog– I recommend the one with the fatter handle). You can also attach the bar to a cable pulley machine with the pulley in its lowest position.  Either method works well, the Theraband version is a bit more challenging and has the option of introducing the element of speed once the form is perfected.

You can do this exercise without the chop and lift bar.  Simply perform the same motion grasping the band.  On a cable pulley machine, the rope attachment works well.  The bar is preferred as it introduces a greater amount of torque into the exercise.

Posture is king in this exercise and maintaining ones balance is more important than how much resistance you use.  Make your torso tall and erect with 80% of your weight on the rear knee. An Airex pad under the knee both pads and protects the knee as well as adding an element of instability. As you improve, make your stance narrower.

Once your form is perfected here, you can progress these exercises to standing in a split stance. If you can’t maintain perfect posture, don’t stand up.

Performing the upper body rolling patterns and thoracic spine rotational stretches prior to doing the chops or lifts is recommended.

Lifts In Kneeling

This is the “Lift In Kneeling” video. We are using the eponymous “Cook Band” (a fancy Theraband) and a homemade “Cook Bar” (aka: chop and lift bar–available from the ‘Perform Better’ catalog– I recommend the one with the fatter handle). You can also attach the bar to a cable pulley machine with the pulley in its lowest position.  Either method works well, the Theraband version is a bit more challenging and has the option of introducing the element of speed once the form is perfected.

You can do this exercise without the chop and lift bar.  Simply perform the same motion grasping the band.  On a cable pulley machine, the rope attachment works well.  The bar is preferred as it introduces a greater amount of torque into the exercise.

Posture is king in this exercise and maintaining ones balance is more important than how much resistance you use.  Make your torso tall and erect and you are well balanced. An Airex pad under the knee both pads and protects the knee as well as adding an element of instability. For added stability, you can squeeze a soft rubber ball between your knees.

Once your form is perfected here, you can progress these exercises to standing.  If you can’t maintain perfect posture, don’t stand up.

Performing the upper body rolling patterns and thoracic spine rotational stretches prior to doing the chops or lifts is recommended.

Opposite Arm / Leg Raise & “Swimming”

Quadruped Ball Squat With Shoulder Extension

Spinal Imprinting

Upper Body Rolling Pattern

Upper Body Rolling Patterns: I often tell my patients that if I could only do one exercise for the rest of my life, this would be it.  The importance of working on our movement fundamentals cannot be over emphasized.  We make the fastest and most profound changes in our bodies by accessing our body’s primitive patterns.  In short, one of the first movements an infant learns, after learning to control it’s head, is to roll over. This movement proves more challenging for adults. For this exercise, we are going to roll over using only the muscles above our waist.  No help from the glutes or hip flexors.  In order for you to complete this exercise, half of your core muscles need to fire (contract) and the other half need to relax (let go).  It is the later that we most commonly have problems with.  This exercise will help you regain mobility and efficient firing of your core.

For the supine to prone portion, lie on your back and reach one arm long and away from your feet.  The foot to hand will create the axis around which you will roll.  Keep the hand and foot as far apart as you can.  Turn your head in the direction of the elongated arm and reach in that direction with the other arm.  Remember, where the head goes, the body goes.  Then roll over.  Remember to keep everything below the waist quiet.

Then you must reverse the motion (from prone to supine) turn your head in the direction of your roll, lift the arm and roll, again, keeping your lower body limp.

Most people are not able to complete this exercise without assistance.  For ‘pattern assistance’ place a ball or pillow under your hip, which will place your body about 25% of the way through the roll.  You should then be able to complete the exercise.  The importance of this exercise is reprogramming the nervous system so don’t cheat by using your legs.  If you do, you will not derive the benefit of the exercise.  Don’t try this without the ball until you can do it easily with the ball.

Perform the same number both to the right and left.  As in all exercises, the motion should be pain-free.

Adductors Foam Rolling 

Hamstring Foam Rolling

Glutes and Hip Rotators Foam Rolling

Thoracic Paraspinal Foam Rolling

Latissimus Dorsi Foam Rolling

Front Plank

Side Plank 

Lower Body Rolling Pattern

Leg Lowering Progression

Bretzel

Ys, Ts & Ws Scapular Stabilization

Back Plank with a Swiss Ball

Hamstring Curl With a Swiss Ball

 

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