Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo.  Showing you today a new way to get a great core challenge in. We will do that by using elevation to our advantage. This will increase the amount of work performed by the core. If you have questions about today’s blog or would like to receive a customized to you core workout, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

It’s important to shake up your workout every 6 weeks. If you’re doing the exact same exercises for 4-6 weeks your body will begin to plateau and you become bored. Today we have a few ideas to implement this weekend to change up your routine. We will be using the TRX. If that is not a piece of equipment you own, we will show you a variation using a ball. Either option is great. If you don’t own a TRX, but would like to purchase one. Keep an eye out online – especially as black Friday draws near. They will go on sale.  There are a lot of other suspension trainers, such as the Monkey Bar, that can also get the job done. A suspension trainer with webbed straps or a ball will work great.  **Please don’t use any looped resistance band to perform these exercises. That is not what they were designed for and you’ll more than likely snap it and hurt yourself. **

These exercises are a little intense; too much for me to talk to you while performing them. I’ve recruited one of our Custom Fitness team members, Hannah, a personal trainer in Amarillo, to help me out. While she’s demonstrating the exercises, I will explain to you what’s going on.  That saves you from having to watch me huff and puff.

Hannah, go ahead and get into the prone plank position. Notice, when she gets ready to get into the TRX – she can first set up the alignment of her body and the straps. To set up your TRX, sit on the ground, legs straight with your feet pointed towards the sky. You want the straps to be an inch (at most) above your toes. If the straps are higher than that, it’ll make you strain and cause some pain. If they are too low, you won’t feel the affect as much. Straps right about the toes.

Now she will put her feet through the loops. If you’ve experienced TRX before, you know getting into and out of it makes you feel rather pretzel like. Hannah is going to get into a strong elevated plank position where her arms (elbows to wrists) are directly underneath her shoulders. Now she is going to pull her knees into an Oblique Knee Tuck. Meaning. She will rotate both shoulders to one side, simultaneously tucking her knees to that same side. She will extend back out into the plank position. Keeping a strong core and strong back. Then tuck her knees to the other side, rotating her shoulders to meet them.   You can watch her do a few repetitions on this so you can get an idea of what this looks like. Reference time stamp: 3:07.

You can also do this exercise with the discs that we have mentioned previously. By elevating the feet with the suspension trainer, however, we put a little more pressure on the core and arms to stabilize the body and get that much better of a workout.

From here, you will go into a Straight Leg Pike Up. Start in the elevated plank position. Hips come straight up with straight knees. Then lower back down into your plank.  Be aware of your back.You can do this with the discs You don’t want it to start to sag or arch the back. Your goal is for it to stay long and strong as you bring the hips to the sky and extend back to the plank.

Now, Hannah, flip back over please, and we’ll show them a Heel Slide. Both legs go back into the straps. Heels should be in the loop, ball of the foot touches the bar. Lay your back down onto the ground. Lift your hips into the bridge position. Maybe this is as much as you can muster at this point – great just hold it! You’ll still be working your core. If you’d like to go a little further, bring your strapped heels towards your hips and extend them back out until you return to the bridge position. As you slide in and out, you will feel a contraction in your hips, glutes, and hamstrings. If it is too much, use the discs rather than the straps. The elevation will intensify this workout.

Those are the exercises to do when a TRX is available, but what if you don’t have access to one?  *cough* Custom Fitness has a TRX trainer* cough*.  A lot of people have a workout ball at home. Now we will show you the same three exercises on the ball.

Hannah will walk the ball forward to where her shins are balanced on the ball. She will start in the plank position again. Note, the closer the ball is to your hips, the easier the exercise will be; the further away, the more challenging. If you want to make it more intense, try and balance on the ball using your shins. If you’d like it to be less difficult, balance on your thighs.

Starting off, she’ll show you the Oblique Knee Tuck. Bringing her knees and shoulders to one side. This requires a lot of core control since the balls sometimes have a mind of their own. You want to move slowly through this. Your goal is to keep the shoulders right on top of the hands, so they aren’t bouncing around everywhere forcing you out of the proper alignment.

Now she’ll transition into the Straight Leg Pike Up. Knees go straight, hips push towards the sky and the ball comes inward. Then extend back out. The maximum height of your hips is an individual choice. Everybody’s a little different. If you’re just getting back into working out, maybe go a little shallow. If you’ve been working your body regularly, try and go a little higher.

Then, lay on your back for the Heel Slide. Place your heels on the ball. The closer the ball is to your to toes, the better. If it is too close to your hips, you won’t get as much benefit. Lift your hips into the bridge position. Bring the heels and ball towards your hips. As she brings the ball in, her hips lift even higher. That’s a normal physiological response because she has everything engaged as she moves.  If you’d like more focus on the hamstrings, she can dig her heels into the ball, with toes flexed, and do the same exercise.

Thank you so much Hannah for being our model today.

Try those out this weekend; we’d love to hear what you think. If you would like some customized exercises for your whole body that will spice up your routine and revive your motivation for working out, give us a call at 806-322-3188 or e-mail us at info@customfitness.biz. Our team would love to meet with you for a consultation to see if we are the right fit for one another. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainer in Amarillo.  Have a great day!