Ways to Target the Core from Different Angles

Essentially, any exercise that uses the anterior and/or posterior muscles to stabilize the spine—and is performed in a coordinated fashion—works the core. It’s important to include some kind of core moves in all classes, particularly those in which core training might not be emphasized. Try the following exercises in one of your next classes; the moves are appropriate in a range of settings and will be effective with various pieces of equipment. The best part: You can modify these movements to create more or less challenge with a simple body-position adjustment or equipment change. This vests attendees with options to help them flourish.

Note: Choose sets and reps based on the time allotted and preference. Switch sides on unilateral exercises.

Double-Tap Twist Crunch

  • Lie supine, hips and knees flexed, one foot on floor, other foot placed across opposite thigh (figure-four position).
  • Place fingertips lightly behind head, elbows pointing toward corners of room.
  • Flex spine, then rotate inside elbow to touch inside, then outside, of supported knee.
  • Rotate back to center, and lower to floor.
  • Progression: Lift foot off floor.

Side Plank With Rotation

  • From side-lying position, place flexed elbow directly beneath shoulder, with forearm and wrist extended, hand making a fist.
  • Maintain alignment from ear to hip and knee joint.
  • Place top leg in front of body, toe of back foot touching heel of front foot. This kinetic connection aligns the body and helps control rotation.
  • Place fingertips of top arm just behind ear, elbow pointing toward ceiling.
  • Lift hips into side plank; rotate top elbow down toward floor, touching fist.
  • Slowly raise elbow back toward ceiling.
  • Progression: Stack feet on top of each other. Regression: “Kickstand” back knee to increase base of support.