Training & Performance



A 10-Step Guide to a Do-Anything Core

All full-body movements rely on core strength. Alyx Walkinshaw, a fitness instructor at Railyard Fitness in Santa Fe, walks us through a workout to help you develop a strong and trustworthy core.

Video Transcript

ALYX: Hi, I'm Alyx. I'm a fitness instructor in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and today I'm really excited to show you a ten-step guide to build core strength and core stability. Our first exercise is a traditional sit-up. Start by anchoring your feet down, low back supported by the earth, the knees bent. Take a deep breath in as you lengthen through your spine and an open-mouth exhale to press up tall. You can keep your palms by your side, or cross them like I have them here, for a little bit more added challenge. Our second exercise is windshield wipers. Option one is to come on your back and extend your legs straight up to the ceiling. Take a deep breath in, extend them over to one side, open-mouth exhale to come up. Option two is to bend at the knees, taking that same expression from side to side. Our next posture is the three-point plank pose. Balancing in high plank, take turns extending one limb out at a time, making sure that you're grounding through the rest of the parts of your body that are touching the earth, keeping the core strong, the upper back lifted, and the crown of your head and tailbone lengthening in opposition of one another. Our next move is the kayaker. So: finding a boat pose, bringing your palms to your heart center, keeping your chest open, and just lengthening arms out on each side. You can breathe in to bring the palms to center, and then breathe out as you find your twist. Our next exercise is a side plank. You can come from down dog into a high plank. Choose which side you want to start on, moving on to that side's outside foot, opposite foot in front, and extending the arm. Inhale through center back to a plank. Exhale. Give yourself a little bit of a break into down dog. And then come back to plank to move into the opposite side. Make sure the shoulders stay relaxed, low belly stays engaged. Now we have leg raises. Start with your spine long on the ground, chin neutral to your chest. Pressing your palms into the ground beside you, inhale to lower your legs to any degree until you feel your sensation in the core. And then an open-mouth exhale to lift the legs back up. Boat pose is super challenging, as you can see here. Letting your legs extend out in front of you, and kind of carving the low belly in as you press your lower back down, and then extending your arms back in line with your ears. In bridge pose, you are reverse tabletop. You can stay here, or for more of a challenge, extend one leg out at a time, keeping your hips level with your shoulders the whole time. Allow the chest to stay open, chin neutral. For gymnast L-sit, use the blocks to keep your hips lifted and your knees into your chest. Thanks for doing this workout with me. If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments below. If you enjoyed it, feel free to subscribe.