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Best Core Activation Exercises

by Monica

Core activation is key if you want to prevent low back pain, injuries, improve performance, and flatten your abs. Learn how with my Japanese bondage workout tip, Can't believe how many views this video has!!

Most fitness pros describe core activation as drawing the belly button into the spine. I find myself saying this all the time too but the truth is it's a little more involved than this and it takes some practice.

The great news is once you get this down your abs will start to get stronger and flatter faster. You won't experience back pain or low back injuries during workouts and you'll be able to perform more complex exercises easily.

Best Core Activation Exercise Option 1
Lay face down on the floor with belly button over a ruler or yoga strap and forehead resting on hands. Take a deep breathe in as you relax the abs then slowly breathe out and begin to contract the deepest layer of abdominal muscle (TVA) to pull the belly button off the ruler without tensing any part of your body (this is not as easy as it sounds). Pay close attention to your shoulders, glutes, and legs. If they are tensing at all your TVA is not working properly. Once you have a strong contraction hold it but continue breathing normally. Hold it for 10 seconds then release and repeat 10 times. If you find this is impossible to do without tensing up then try the next version.


Best Core Activation Exercise Option 2
Tie a string or yoga strap or even a resistance band around your belly button area. Make sure it's snug when your abs are relaxed. Go down to hands and knees making sure hands are under shoulders and knees are under hips and spine is neutral (not flat but not arched).

Take a deep breathe in as you relax the abs then slowly breathe out and begin to contract the deepest layer of abdominal muscle (TVA) to pull the belly button off the string without tensing any part of your body or losing the natural curve of the low back. Once you have a strong contraction hold it but continue breathing normally. Hold it for 10 seconds then release and repeat 10 times.

Best Core Activation Exercise Option 3
Once you've got the technique down practice doing it while doing the birddog exercise also known as crossbody exercise or kneeling two point stance. You can practice activating as you alternate extending arm and leg or you can practice activating as you hold extended arm and leg.

Watch the video for examples. BTW I called this video Japanese Bondage Workout Tip because people at the gym say that's what it looks like. Notice how views this video has. Looks like people are into some kinky stuff!

Need to strengthen your core? Get started with the best core exercises.



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