Workout Wednesdays – Core Stabilization


We know that it has been harder for people to exercise over these last several weeks. Christina Lombardi, DPT PT has put together easy exercises to get you moving at home! Each Wednesday for the next several weeks we will share these exercises with you. Each exercise includes descriptive information and a video to demonstrate how to do it. Check back next week for Arm Exercises.


Abdominal Bracing

  • Muscles: Abdominal muscles
  • Movement:
    • Lie on your back
    • Bend both legs
    • Tighten your stomach muscles as you draw your belly bottom down towards the surface
    • Pause
    • Relax & repeat
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with one set of 10 reps, then progress to 2-3 sets of 10 reps
      • If 10 reps are too difficult, try aiming for 5-8 reps
    • Pause for 3-5 seconds, then you can progress to 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Do NOT HOLD your breath

Abdominal Bracing with March

  • Muscles: Abdominal
  • Movement:
    • Lie on your back
    • Bend both legs
    • Tighten your stomach muscles as you draw your belly button down towards the surface
    • Then bring your knee up towards your chest
      • Keep your foot flexed
    • Pause
    • Relax & repeat
    • Perform on one leg or alternate sides
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with one set of 10 reps, then progress to 2-3 sets of 10 reps
      • If 10 reps are too difficult, try aiming for 5-8 reps
    • Pause for 3-5 seconds, then you can progress to 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Do NOT HOLD your breath

Planks

  • Muscles: Core, total body
  • Movement:
    • Lie on your stomach
    • Easier version: With your knees bent, press up onto your hands
    • Advanced Version: With your legs straight (on your toes), press up onto your forearms or hands
    • Tighten your core muscles and butt muscles
      • Keep your back straight
    • Hold for a few seconds
    • Relax
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with a 15-30 second hold, then progress as able
  • Key Points:
    • Do NOT HOLD your breath
    • Keep your back straight
      • Do not allow your hips or pelvis to drop
      • Maintain pelvic neutral position the entire time

Bird-Dog

  • Muscles: Core, total body
  • Movement:
    • Lie on your stomach
    • Get onto your hands and knees 
    • Tighten your core muscles
  • Easier version: Slowly lift one arm at time up in the air or slowly lift one leg up at a time
  • Advanced version: Slowly lift the opposite arm and leg upwards at the same time. Lower both down. Repeat on opposite sides.
    • Tighten your core muscles and butt muscles
    • Keep your back straight
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Perform about 10 repetitions and then build up to 1-2 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Key Points:
    • Do NOT HOLD your breath
    • Keep your back straight
      • Do not allow your hips or pelvis to drop
      • Maintain pelvic neutral position the entire time

Disclaimer: You should discuss your health risks with your provider before starting any exercise program.


Christina graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Secondary Education from West Chester University. She continued her studies at Temple University in Physical Therapy, graduating with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in May 2015. Christina began her career in outpatient physical therapy and has worked per diem in both the acute and rehabilitation care settings. She treats a variety of orthopedic and neurological diagnoses in her current role as a staff therapist for Good Shepherd Penn Partners. Recently, Christina developed an interest in Oncology. Last year, Christina’s dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and her cousin with ovarian cancer. In addition, within the past year, a few of Christina’s friends have also been diagnosed with cancer. Because of her love for family and friends and her passion for physical activity and wellness, she realized that she could help touch so many lives. Christina joined the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association in May 2019 and is beginning to take continuing education courses to develop her clinical knowledge and expertise. She instructs indoor cycle classes and has her Level 1 CrossFit Certification. She enjoys  various forms of exercise and other health and wellness related activities and topics. 

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