What’s my Core Four workout? Well, when I can find about 15 extra minutes, I lock myself in my room with my giant exercise ball. I sit on the ball on my sitting bones with my spine very neutral. I draw my rib cage back. I love to use an exercise ball because my pelvic floor can lift away from it and because it takes a little extra core strength to stabilize and balance on the ball. Here, I sit quietly and breathe. Sometimes, I play my Headspace app. I always take at least 20 breaths and add kegels
Next, I lie on my side with my knees stacked and do 30 clams. First, I keep my heels together and lift my knees 30 times, then I keep my knees together and lift my heels 30 times. After I switch sides, I lie on my back for bridges. Only, these bridges are a little different than a regular yoga style bridge. First, my knees are bent and my feet are hip width distance apart, but I don’t walk the heels in as closely as I would if I were in yoga. I also keep my pelvis neutral. Alternating sides, I lift one leg up and then lift my hips and glutes off the mat 10 times. I do two sets on each side. All of this is to strengthen my weak hips and glutes.
Then, I go back to my breathing ball and do 3 sets of 10 sit ups. I engage my pelvic floor on the exhale and lift my shoulders a few inches on the ball. This is basically a crunch. And while I am happy and love this exercise to tone my abdominals, it was prescribed by my pelvic floor physical therapist. Remember, crunching is not for everyone. Finally, I do two side planks for 30 seconds on each side.
If I still have time, I may add some cows and cats or restorative poses in the mix, like supta badakanasana (supine butterfly), legs up the wall or child’s pose. Once or twice a week, I try and jog for 10 minutes working on keep my pelvic floor engaged and challenging my stress incontinence when my feet hit the pavement.