5 Ways to Strengthen your Core like a Gymnast.

At the end of your Gym Session it doesn't take long to add on a few exercises that will strengthen your Core.

These 5 exercises have been put together by a National Gymnastic Coach. If you do these 3-4 times a week you will soon notice that your core is getting tighter and your abdominals are getting stronger.
Start with 3 rounds of 30 seconds each exercise, then as you get stronger you can increase the time that you hold each position. Once you can hold a position for 1 minute, move on to the advanced movement and go back to 30 seconds, then increase the time again when you are ready.

A hint to keep your core activated is to Hiss like a snake while holding the positions.

1. Dish Shape:

Lying flat, raise your legs and upper body off the floor to form the shape of a dish. Start with your arms stretched our in front, or if this is too easy stretch them overhead as in the picture. Make sure your Lower back is rounded and in contact with the floor. Do not arch your back. Legs should be tight and squuezed together.

The more advanced Version is to rock forward and back as you hold the position.

2. Front support:

This is the same as a push up position on your toes. Make sure that you are pushing up through your shoulders at all times and your shoulders are directly over your hands or slightly forward. Suck your tummy in as if you were trying to push your belly button into your Lower back. Your lower Back should be rounded at all times and should nor sag. Squeeze your bottom tight and keep your legs together and straight.

The Advanced Version is to place your feet on a height, keep your body tight and lean slightly forward so your shoulders move over your fingertips. 

3. Superman:

Start lying on your stomach, arms out in front and stretching forward, Legs straight and squeezed together, Glutes squeezed tight. Raise your Arms and legs off the floor, eyes facing down and head neutral between your arms, keep your bottom tight and your legs together, stretch as far forward as possible.

For the Advanced version, stay tight but rock backwards and forwards.

4. Hip Lift:

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides. Lift your hips as high as possible, as if an invisible string is pulling your hips up toward the sky. Squueeze your bottom tight.

For the Advanced version, straighten one leg, pointing your toe and tighten your thigh muscle, keep your knees together. Alternativly, place both feet on a height and push hips up, legs together and tight, bottom squeezed.

5. L Hang:

Hang from a bar, having a back support is ideal but hard to find, so a Chin up bar is ok, if it is near a wall you may be able to put a fitball behind you. Raise your legs, keeping them together and tight, feet pointed. If you struggle with this position you can tuck your knees, keep feet pointed down though. 

For the more advanced version, raise legs higher, almost to the bar, you can then move your legs side to side like the windscreen wipers on a car. remember to keep toes pointed and legs together and squeezed tight.