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I love me some good core workouts, and I love me even more core workouts that challenge stability and my deep, deep, deep core muscles! Not all core work is created equal and once you are taught the right way you can never go back! Join me for a great quick move that requires us to challenge ourselves on the foam roller with a little weight in the mix.

To begin:

  1. Lying on the foam roller length wise, find pelvic neutral (which should leave a small curve in the lower spine).
  2. Place your feet at hips width and parallel (I like to place a block or mini ball between my thighs to help with pelvic core work and stability).
  3. Place the weighted ball in your hands (or soup can, hand weights) and extend your arms up towards the sky, working to relax your shoulders around the top of the roller. Notice the stability challenge and take a few breaths to stabilize your body on the roller.
  4. Inhale and extend your arms alongside your ears working to keep your rib cage down challenging your transversus abdominal and rectus (6-pack muscle). Work to feel the extension through your back and spinal muscles internally (this takes work).
  5. Exhale and draw the arms upward towards the ceiling, once there using the strength of your frontal core (no neck strain, if there is do not lift the head, a good sign your rectus is not strong enough to lift the head yet) to gently draw the head and upper shoulders off the foam roller.
  6. When you roll up do not let the lower back press into the roller, work to actively draw inward on the pelvic floor (bathroom muscles) as you roll up.
  7. Notice the massage between the shoulders blades as your roll up and then down.
  8. Inhale breathing into the side ribs rather than belly, gently and mindfully roll your upper back and head back onto the roller working to stay steady. Work not to pop the rib cage as you roll yourself out.
  9. Continue to roll out until your arms are along side the ears or modify that by only extending the arms to the sky (remember to honor your shoulders).
  10. Repeat this process 10 to 20 times, speed is not the goal, working to feel and use the deep muscles of the core is!.

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