Around the World

It’s Home Exercise of the Week time and this week I have another great core exercise for you to try.  I like to call it Around the World but I’m sure other people call it by different names.

The Around the World exercise is challenging and definitely not a beginner exercise so make sure you are ready for this one before trying it.  If you can do Side to Side Leg Raises with little difficulty then you will know that you are ready to go Around the World!

You will be working your lower back, lower abdominals, obliques, and hip flexors with this exercise.  As always, proper form is key to working the targeted muscles effectively and safely.  Let’s take a look at the key points to doing the Around the World properly.

  • lay on the floor face up with your arms extended out to your side to stabilize yourself
  • raise your legs straight up so they are perpendicular to the floor
  • keeping your legs straight, lower both feet down to your side until they are almost touching the floor then swing them out in front of you and continue on to the other side and back up to the starting position
  • repeat but go the other direction this time and keep switching directions for each rep
  • throughout the whole set make sure that you are driving your belly button down towards your spine to keep your abdominals engaged and your lower back flat against the floor
  • if you find that your lower back is hurting from this move then don’t lower your legs as far and if that doesn’t help then discontinue the exercise

So there you have the Around the World.  Add a couple sets of 15 to 20 repetitions to your ab routine or throw it in to a superset with your other workout routines.  It’s a challenging exercise but over time you will get stronger and your core will thank you.  Also, as with the Side to Side Leg Raises, you can hold a light dumbbell between your feet to really up the intensity!  Happy traveling!  😉

Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors

I have a core exercise for you for the Home Exercise of the Week.  It’s called Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors and if you’re familiar with Pilates then you’ll notice a similarity with this one.

Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors will work your lower abdominals as well as your hip flexors and for an added bonus the crunch and hold will isometrically work your upper abdominals.  So you know what that means….muscle burn time!

Let’s take a look at the key points to doing Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors properly.

  • lay face up on your mat and raise your legs to a 45 degree angle keeping them as straight as possible.
  • reach towards your toes with your hands by crunching up until your shoulders are off the floor.  Avoid going too high as this can strain your back and avoid tucking your chin in to your chest.
  • while holding the crunch, lower one leg until it is about an inch or two off the floor then return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
  • ensure that you are pulling your belly button in towards your spine to achieve optimal ab contraction and to avoid straining your lower back.
  • if you find that your back is arching or hurting while doing this exercise then don’t lower your legs as far down.  You can also just do a crunch while holding your legs up and not doing the scissor movement.

So there you have Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors.  Get those abs burning by adding a couple sets of 20 to 30 repetitions to your ab routine or add it in to a superset to get an even bigger metabolic boost!