Core Stability 1

on Saturday, 25 January 2014.

Through years of inadequate movement, poor training, and various environmental factors, we often loose our "core" and our foundation for functional movement. This leads to degradation of movement patterns and inevitably pain and injury. In Core Stability 1 we will address the fundamental stabilization patterns we developed through infancy to re-build a strong and stable foundation.


This program is specific to stability with minimal mobility exercise incorporated. It is essential that you address your mobility deficit or imbalances before and/or coinciding with core stability training. Long term success will never be achieved if you do not find an optimal balance of mobility and stability, so consult with your Doctor or Therapist so they can provide therapy and/or direct you in your effort to rehabilitate or prevent an injury and achieve optimum health.

Exercise Overview   
  Sets Reps Rest Tempo
1. Dead Bug 1-2 10 - Controlled Movement, with Breath
2. Bird Dog 1-2 5 each Leg & Arm

- Hold 1 breath at top
3. Side Plank 1-2 5 each side

- 1 rep = 1 breath, Hold 2 breaths at top, progress to 10 breath hold
4. Active Straight Leg Raise 1-2 10 - Controlled Movement, with Breath
5. Hip Hinge (RDL) with Dowel 1-2 10 - Controlled Movement, with Breath

Table 1: Exercise Overview

The Rules

1. Breathe: It is essential that you maintain a relaxed and diaphragmatic breathing pattern throughout each exercise. At times we may recommend you lengthen and expand your breath to faciliate control of the breath and increase demand. In either scenario, be aware of and avoid excess tension throughout the body or breathing "up to the ears". 

2. Alignment: Engage an ideal or best possible alignment prior to and throughout each exercise. You will hear us repeatedly say "get tall, get long, get strong, chest out, chin tucked, neutral pelvis, etc." Breathing and alignment are your two primaries; without them, your purpose is lost. 

3. Challenge Your Self:  If at any point while performing an exercise you can say to yourself "this is easy" please stop... and move up to the next most challenging progression of that exercise. Find the progression of exercise that tests your abilities and resources in a demanding but stimulating way. Find your alignment, breathe, get strong and challenge yourself. Challenging yourself is the only way to expand your capacity for stability and strength, and both are essential for injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Progressions: The Dead Bug (4), Bird Dog (5) and Side Plank (6) exercises are the meat and potatoes of this program. These are the ones you NEED to master to have a stable core and there are multiple progressions to each. As per rule #3 it is essential that you find the progression that you can do well, with a challenge. Below is an outline of the progressions of three fundamental stability exercises practiced in Core Stability 1. 

Dead Bug Exercise Progressions (select playlist option top left corner to see options)



Side Plank Exercise Progressions (select playlist option top left corner to see options)


Bird Dog Exercise Progressions (select playlist option top left corner to see options)

It is very easy to loose site of good form (i.e. alignment and breathing) when motivated to progress to a more challenging version of an exercise or when in a rush to "get the exercises" done. Stay present in your efforts and when confident, move up to a more challenging exercise. If time is an issue, you may split the routine up so that you perform a couple movements in the morning and the others in the evening. If need be, do a few exercises on one day and the others the next. I must say however, that we all deserve to spend 15 minutes a day to improve our health. In the busy lives we lead there will always be an excuse to miss on the few exercises you need to promote optimum health, reduce risk or rehabilitate an injury. 

Below is a playlist. Clicking on the button in the top left corner will allow you to play the individual exercise you'd like, or, simply play through all exercises from the beginning. 


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