Fitness Friday 11/20: Work Your Core with Slowed Down Movements

This past week I have taken a handful of new fitness classes for my new mini series Fitness Around Albany.  Most of the classes were yoga and pilates-inpired workouts, all of which involved slowing the body down at various points to really target the slow-twitch muscle fibers and also focus on lengthening and strengthening the muscles.  So, today's Fitness Friday mini workout is inspired by a few of these slow movements.  Don't be fooled - they are challenging!  Especially when it comes to working your abs.  Ready to have some fun?  Keep reading for the details!

Fitness Friday 11/20: Work Your Core

Fitness Friday 11/20

3 x 3 (3 rounds, 3 times today)
The key with all of these movements is to go slow.  Focus on the muscles you're working and feel them move your body.  Let's have some fun!

10 Opposite/Opposite Knee-to-Elbow Tucks - okay, I couldn't think of a better name for these.  Start in a high plank position and lift one arm and the opposite leg off the ground.  From here, tuck your chin to your chest, round your back, and bring your elbow and knee together to meet in the middle near your stomach.  Extend them back out without touching the ground and repeat that motion.  Do 10 on one side slowly before switching to do 10 on the other side.  Trainer tip: if the high plank position is too much, or you have a shoulder injury, go down to your knee to take some pressure off.

10 Side-Lying Double Leg Raises - don't let these fool you - they're tough if you go slow!  Start by lying all the way down on your side, head resting on your bottom arm, other arm by your chest with your hand on the floor.  Keeping your upper body still, hips stacked, and legs together, lift and lower both legs slowly.  When you bring them down, try to keep them hovering over the floor, but not touching it.  Do 10 slow lifts on each side, focusing on using your core to keep yourself stable.

10 Slow V-Ups - just like regular V-ups, but I want you to go slowly in both directions.  Try to do a slow count to 4 on the way up, pause, hold the V position for 1 count, then lower back down vertebrae by vertebrae for another count of 4.  Do 10 total.  Trainer Tip: if the V ups are too much, keep your feet on the ground, knees bent, and do 10 slow crunches using the same counting method.

Remember to go through that 2 more times for the full mini workout, and try to get in another 2 throughout your day.  Have fun with it!

Readers: chat with me!  Do you incorporate slow movements like this into your fitness routine?  What are some of your favorite slow exercises?   Anything exciting planned for the weekend?