By Sarah Scozzaro,
CTS Expert Coach, NSCA-PT, NASM PES
This time of year it’s common for athletes to find themselves busier than normal or on the road, which quickly leads to questions about how to continue with strength training – particularly core training – when away from home.
I get it, there’s a lot going on. There are parties to attend, work deadlines to meet, and what feels like less time for everything. However, if you can carve out time between zoom meetings, while you’re watching Netflix, or even while you’re at the airport (be prepared for some quizzical glances), then you have time for this core circuit! Taking 10-12 mins each day for exercises that can help strengthen your core for stronger running and cycling really adds up and can have a nice impact without adding a lot of stress. Use those bits of time here and there and get working on your core!
Whether you’re in a hotel, staying with family, or in your own living room, this little circuit can be done anywhere at any time. It’s simple, doesn’t require time or equipment, but you’ll notice the difference it can make.
If you are able, throw a mini band in your travel bag; between that and a sturdy chair or bed you will have all you need for a great travel workout!
10-Minute Core Workout
Repeat the following circuit 3-4 times, completing 10-12 repetitions (per side as appropriate) of each exercise per circuit. Focus on good form, breathing and core engagement during each exercise:
Plank with Hip Drop
Tips: Keep your core engaged, hips up, shoulders and upper body as still as possible.
Single Leg Chair Bridge
Tips: Engage those glutes and also your core as you stabilize the pelvis. Think slow and controlled tempo – 3 count up, 2 count pause, 1 count down – for each rep.
Plank with Banded Row
Tips: Work on stability, counter rotation and get a little upper body work in, too. If you don’t have a mini band, or if a plank challenges you enough, start with a plank. Add alternating shoulder taps to bring it up a notch. Aim to keep core engaged, back as flat as possible, and hips up.
Tips: This is a great way to engage the adductors and hamstrings, as well as address foot mobility.
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Tips: Keep the pelvis tucked and your lower back on the ground throughout this movement. When you start to feel your back arch off the ground, you have reached the limit of your range of motion for this movement. Stay slow and controlled and focused there. When done right, this is one core burner!!
Banded Step Out Bridges
Tips: Another Bridge variation, but this one directs a lot of focus on the lateral glutes. When done right, another great one for pelvis stability.
V-Sit with Extension
Tips: Start with a V-Sit, and when you can hold that position stable for 20 seconds you can progress to this controlled variation of the V-Sit with Extension. Cues here: chin and chest up, slow and controlled.
Using this Core Workout
I find a short and effective session like the one above to be helpful for balancing out a lot of sedentary time that can come with travel or long hours in an office chair. If you’re not traveling, it can also be a great addition to an existing, more comprehensive strength training program, or can be added to the end of an endurance or interval training session.
As 2021 wraps up and things perhaps get a bit chaotic, short sessions like this can also provide some easily-accessible options for staying active and connected to your long-range training routines instead of having to skip or cease training altogether due to lack of time.
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