Stabilize Your Core Muscles

Add standing crunches to your walk to improve posture, strengthen your abs, and improve your workout

Stabilize your core muscles
Photo: David Martinez

A strong core―the muscles of the pelvis, hips, low back, abdomen, and chest―provides a protective column of support for the entire body, whether you're walking, picking up the paper, or bending over to tie shoelaces. In fact, all movement originates from the core, so training this area develops a more stable center of gravity, which leads to improved exercise performance, reduced risk of injury, and better posture. Boost your core muscles by ¬incorporating standing crunches into your walk.

Standing abdominal crunches/rotations
Pause as you walk, contract abs, and raise right knee toward chest and slightly to the left while twisting torso to the right. Slower lower right leg, step forward, and raise left knee to chest while twisting upper body to the left. Arms should be about chest high, bent at elbows, with palms facing forward, and twisting in same direction as the upper body. Alternate knees as you walk. Continue for one minute. Repeat two times during or at the end of your walk.

Challenge yourself:
Perform crunch as above, but step up on a high curb, step, or low bench as you pull knee to chest. Then step back down, and perform on opposite leg. This makes your core muscles work harder to hold you stable and maintain balance. Do 15 to 18 reps on each leg.

Tips on Technique
• Look straight ahead.
• Lift knee no higher than chest level.
• Keep head and neck in line.
• Keep back straight.
• Pull abs in tight.
• Keep supporting leg straight, knee unlocked.

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