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Total Core Workout

This intermediate/advanced Total Core Workout targets all the muscles of the torso include the abs, back and pelvis.  These are dynamic exercises using an exercise ball and resistance band or tube.  Take care when performing these exercises and avoid arching the back.  If you find this difficult, you can place a rolled up towel under the lower back/hips for extra support.  As always, avoid any exercise that causes pain and check with your doctor if you have any injuries or medical conditions.

Horizontal Wood Chops
Wrap tube or band around a sturdy object and stand to the left, holding handles in both hands.  Keeping the arms straight, swing the arms across the body and rotate towards the left, contracting the abs.  Return to start and repeat for 10-12 reps before switching sides.

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Ball Pass
Begin by lying on your back with the legs straight up (bend them if needed) and holding the ball straight up over the body. (A) Put the ball between the feet, squeezing them to keep the ball in place, and lower both the arms and legs down towards the floor. (B) Bring them back up and take the ball in your hands.  (C)  Lower the arms and legs down towards the floor again and continue, exchanging the ball between the hands and feet for 8-12 reps.

Ball Plank with Leg Lift
Get into plank position with the feet/shins resting on the ball, hands under shoulders and abs contracted.  Keeping the core tight, lift the right leg off the ball a few inches and lower.  Lift the left leg off the ball and lower.  Continue alternating legs for 8-10 reps on each side.

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Reverse Hyper-Extension on the Ball
Lie face down on the ball and roll forward until you're resting on your forearms, legs straight and toes resting on the floor.  Keeping the legs straight, lift them up until the body is in a straight line, concentrating on the lower back.  Lower the legs slightly and repeat for 10-12 reps.

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Roll Ups with the Ball
Begin seated on the floor, legs and spine straight and the ball extended out in front of you.  Pull the abs in and engage the pelvis as you roll down onto the mat, feeling each vertebrae make contact, taking the ball over the head.  Roll back up to start taking the ball up and reaching forward as you come back to sitting.  Repeat for 10-12 reps and bend the knees to modify this move if your back is arching off the floor.

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Plank Press-Ups on the Ball
On your knees, place you forearms on the ball and roll forward a bit until your back is flat.  Straighten the knees and bring the body into a plank position. Hold for 1-2 seconds, lower the knees and repeat for 10-12 reps.

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Jacknife
Begin lying on the floor with the legs straight up (knees slightly bent if needed) and hold the ball behind the head. Lower the legs a few inches and then bring the ball up as you bring the legs in, touching the ball to the toes in a full crunch.  Lower and repeat for 10-12 reps.

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Workout Tips:

  • Do this workout 2-3 non-consecutive days a week
  • Each exercise should be slow and controlled. Don't use momentum and don't allow the back to arch.  Modify any exercises as needed or skip any moves that cause pain
  • Beginners: Start with this Beginner Abs Workout if these moves are too difficult.
  • Int/Adv: Perform 1-3 sets of each exercise or go through the exercises circuit-style, one after the other and repeat if desired.

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