Get your arms and obliques beach body ready — Oblique lift and lower
Summer is right around the corner (it is- I promise) and most of us just can’t wait to get rid of the layers upon layers of clothing and show some skin! Get ready for tanks and beachwear with one simple move. Here we are focusing on the arms, shoulders and obliques — a perfect focus just in time for summer.
To begin, align your body with the back edge of a yoga mat and keep your bottom leg long. Reaching through the inner arch of the foot, find yourself in side plank.
Inhale and lower toward the floor, feeling slightly like you are sinking into your supporting shoulder. Exhale and contract your pelvic floor (imagine the muscles you use for going to the bathroom) and focus on the use of the lower obliques to press your body back upright into side plank. Repeat this five to 10 times on each side. Note: It is important to move slowly and mindfully, and not to overuse the shoulder socket of your base arm.
This movement works the intercostal muscles between the ribs, internal and external obliques (the sides of the waist), transverse abdominus (the deepest core muscle), iliotibial (IT) band (the side of the leg), glutes, shoulder and shoulder girdle.
Variations and tips
For full side plank variations, make sure your bottom palm is flat (work through the entire hand and fingertips) and rotate the eye of your elbow forward in line with your middle finger.
For a forearm side plank variation, rotate your bottom arm forward and turn your palm inward or upward and press through your entire forearm. (Facing the palm down will overuse your chest muscles.)
If you notice your lower body feeling heavy, step your top foot flat to the floor in front of your bottom knee for more stability. Be careful not to lean forward; keep your body lying on its side.
It is important to remember that every little bit counts. Focusing on the quality of a movement over the quantity will always serve your greatest good and result in a killer body in the end! Now think of the beach as you add this amazing core move into all your workout routines.
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