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Monday, December 1, 2014

Core Stability for Moms

***This post was originally written for and posted on Des Moines Moms Blog***

Whether you hit up the gym on a regular basis or not, it's safe to say that being a parent requires you to be in shape- a try to close the trunk, and carry a child on one hip with grocery bags in the opposite hand, while wearing a diaper bag type of shape.

Even if you aren't interested entering in the next big fitness competition and could care less about a six pack, increasing core stability can make tasks like swinging a baby carrier or loading a double stroller into the trunk easier.

Core stability is one of those fitness buzz words that's often used interchangeably with core strength but it's different than throwing in some crunches and bicycles at the end of your workout.  In fact, core stability exercises often don't look like you're even training the abdominals.  It refers to the ability to maintain proper positioning of your spine and pelvis throughout a movement despite what your extremities may be doing.  To do keep stability in the spine, the muscles that compromise your core (abdominals, back, hips and pelvic floor) work together to resist movement.

Adding just a few core stability exercises into your weekly routine can help prevent injuries, reduce back pain, improve posture, increase balance, as well as make many exercises and household chores easier.  In other words, it will make picking up an overtired, tantrum throwing toddler up from the floor less strenuous.  And let's face it, our kids aren't getting any smaller.

It's no secret that pregnancy can leave your entire core feeling like mush and whether you're a new mom*, a gym going veteran or somewhere in between try performing a few of the exercises below (listed in order from beginner to advanced) twice a week to increase your core stability.

*Please get your doctor's approval before returning to exercise

Your turn:  What are you favorite core stability exercises?

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