October Workout of the Month – Back and Core

October is my favorite month!  Partially because it’s my birthday month, but mostly because the weather starts to get cooler, the leaves start to change, and Fall is truly here!  There’s just something about crunching leaves beneath your feet, the smell of a bonfire wafting through the air, and pretty orange pumpkins displayed on front porches 🙂  It all puts me in a good mood!  You know what else puts me in a good mood??  A good back and core workout!  And that’s exactly what this October Workout of the Month is all about!

This October workout of the month focuses on your entire core - including your abs and your back! No crunches involved and you'll be done within 30 minutes!

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Quick Recap

In the last few months we started to get more targeted with our workouts of the month.  In July we had a plank workout, August focused on lower body, and September was all about the upper body.  So we’re going back to the beginning and hitting our core all over again!  But don’t worry, this workout won’t have any of the same exercises as July’s!

What is Your “Core?”

Often times, when we hear the word “core”, we think of our abs.  Those of which include our outer abs (rectus abdominis), inner abs (transverse abdominis), and side abs (obliques).   And while those are all included in our core, there’s more to it!  Your lower back is also a key player in your core!  If you don’t focus on your back in addition to your abs, you’ll be imbalanced.  Squatting, bending, picking things up, twisting – all of these utilize your core!  If only one portion is strong, you may struggle in those every day activities!  So many people complain about lower back issues and this could be from focusing too much on your abs, and not enough on your back.

This October workout is intended to help with that back pain!  And the exercises are designed to work all parts of your core, INCLUDING your back!  This way, you will be strengthening your entire torso to ensure a strong and stabilized core.  Add in this quick and effective workout to your weekly routine and your back will be thanking you!

Disclaimer

As always, please consult your doctor before trying a new workout routine.  Although I am a certified personal trainer, each individual body is unique!  Make sure to include at least a 5 minute warm up to prep your body for the upcoming workout.  And at the end, stretch out your muscles before rushing off to your next appointment/activity/TV show etc!

Find a nice, clean space, grab a yoga mat, some water, and let’s get started!

ONE FINAL THING!  The key to this workout is to improve your core right?  In order to do this, you want to pull your belly button in towards your spine.  This will make sure your core is nice and tight and prepared and engaged for the movement ahead.  Do this as you work through all of the exercises.  BUT, make sure you are breathing as well.  You never want to hold your breath.

October Workout of the Month

This October workout of the month will help eliminate your lower back pain! It focuses on your entire core - including both your abs and your back! There are no crunches involved and it will take you less than 30 minutes!

Outfit – Orange leggings from MarshallsThese one’s are super similar though!  Plain black tank from Kohl’s!

Exercises

Superman – Lay on your stomach with your toes pointed and your hands straight out in front of your head.  Raise your lower body and upper body off the ground to create a U shape.  Hold for 3 seconds.  Then, lower slowly back to the ground.  You should feel this in your lower back.

Dead bug – Lay on your back.  Raise your left leg and right arm straight up into the air.  Keep your knee and your elbow straight as your raise them.  As you lower your left leg and right arm, raise the opposite leg and arm into the air.  Your legs are really where all the action happens as you lift them up and you should really feel your abs working.  Be careful to keep your lower back on the ground while you do this move.

Bird dog – Start in table top position with your hands directly under your shoulders.  Raise your left leg and right arm out as if someone was pulling you from either direction.  Lower back to the ground and repeat with the opposite leg and arm.  The height of your leg or arm is not important here.  Make sure to keep your hips level and really feel the pull from the front and the back.

Windshield wipers – Lay on your back and bring both feet straight up into the air.  Slowly lower your legs to your left side keeping your back firmly on the ground.  Drop as far as possible without your back arching.  Raise back through the middle position and over to the right side.  Going from the left to right is considered one rep.  You should feel this in your obliques.

Swimmers – Lay on your stomach with your toes pointed and your hands in front of your head.  Raise your left leg and right arm off the ground.  Hold for 3 seconds.  Lower slowly back to the ground and repeat with your other leg and arm.  This is very similar to superman, however you’re using single limbs rather than your full body.

V-sit hold – Sit on the ground and lean slightly back while lifting both legs up to create a V shape with your body.  Try not to use your hands to balance.  Hold for 30 seconds.  This one is tough!  And 30 seconds is long.  Drop your hands to regain your balance if you need to and then pick them back up when you’re ready.

Back curls – Lay on your stomach with your hands by your ears.  Lift up your entire upper body and hold for 3 seconds.  Slowly lower back down.  Similar to superman, but with only half of your body.

High donkey kicks – Start in a high plank position.  Bring your right knee into your chest and then lift it as far backwards and high as possible.  Repeat all reps on the first leg before moving on to the other.

 

Working out always makes me hungry, so if you’re anything like me, try making a big batch of either these oatmeal peanut butter energy bites or honey banana muffins for a quick snack!

If you like this workout, try a few other WOM’s!


What’s your favorite back or core exercise?

 

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2 thoughts on “October Workout of the Month – Back and Core

  1. My favorite back or core exercise has to be the plank. It’s simple and straightforward, but it works your entire core as well as your shoulders and legs if you’re doing it properly.

    I like like how you explained the difference between solely working out the abs versus working the entire core. I often see people attempting “ab workouts” but complaining about pain in their lower back. You’re right, having a strong core means working all the muscles in your torso. And having imbalances in strength will lead to pain where you’re weakest.

    You mentioned warming up. I have a set of 5 minute warm-ups I use. You’re welcome to share them: http://wp.me/p8obDM-22

    1. Yes, I LOVE the plank! It works so many different muscles! I’ll take a look at your warm-ups, thanks so much for that!

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