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My Core Four and Restore Workout

April 11, 2018

                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

 

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                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. 

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