Most of us like to save time, right? And now with the powers that be breathing down our necks to make sure we do resistance training at least twice a week, you may find that’s it’s all a bit much. After all, you may already be doing your best to get out there and do some moderate cardio for 30 minutes most days of the week.
OR, it may be that you do not shirk at such a thought, and embrace resistance training as something that makes you feel great, stronger, and able to do more.
Either way, there are ways we can incorporate core work as we do some resistance training. This concept not only saves time, but it speaks to the very nature of what the core is all about.
The Core/Arm Connection
As we know, there is a reason why they call it CORE. Not only is our core placed strategically in the middle of our bodies, but it also provides an anchor and stability for our activities. At least if we focus on it and encourage it to do its job.
First and foremost, it is paramount to activate our core before we start any lifting of weights during resistance training. You could expand that concept to include setting your posture in its best alignment. This gives your core the best chance at functioning properly and reinforces good posture. All that may then carry over into your other activities.
Once you have that set up, you can move on to executing some moves for your arms that get your core and arms working together. You can then focus on how it feels when your arms and core work together. This is what you call a win-win.
The thing is, most of these moves require purchasing some tubing with a door attachment if you work out at home. If you go to a gym, you can use a cable machine or possibly some tubing if they have it. Tubing is very useful for lots of things, so it’s not a bad investment in any case.
You can purchase exercise tubing at Amazon, Dicks, or power-systems.com. They come in different thicknesses. Start with “light” or “medium”. Often tubing comes with the door attachment, or you can buy one separately.
Pictures below will show a close up of the tubing door attachment, and several exercises.
1. Straight arm push down.
Attach the tube to the top of the door. Grab both handles ad step back to make tension on the tube. Set your posture and your abdominals. Starting at shoulder height and with straight arms, push the tubing downwards, keeping the arms straight. Bring them down to your sides, but not past that point. Return to the original position and repeat this move 10-12 times. Do another set if desired. HINT: To kick this up a notch and get an even better feel for how your core helps you with this, do one arm at a time. Make sure not to sway to accommodate the move.
2. Chest level push-outs.
Reposition the tubing to chest height. Grab both handles in both hands and step far enough away so that the tube is not slack and has some good tension on it. Stand perpendicular to the door. Starting with the tubing handles at your chest, push both hands straight out in front of you. Do this slowly so that you notice that it is not easy! Your core will tighten up as you execute this move. That is, if you make sure that your torso stays in place. Bring the handles back to your chest and repeat this move 10 times. Do a 180 degree turn to face the other way and do another set.
3. Bow and arrow.
Keeping the tubing at chest height, grab handles in each hand and step back to make tension in the tubing. Step out and back with one leg as you draw the same-side tubing across your body and out to the side. Step back to original position, and then step out and back with the other leg, drawing the same-side tubing across your body and out to the side. Return to the original position. Repeat, alternating, 20 times total.
4. Good old-fashioned push-up. (not pictured)
Set up facing the floor, hands by your shoulders. Using your core, make sure your body is not sagging, and is in good alignment, and then push up and away from the floor. Up-down, 10 times. OR you can do this on your knees, but still activate your core to ensure good alignment. OR you can do this with your hands on a bench or even a kitchen counter if the other positions are too intense for you.
Enough for now! Use these to work your arms and core together, and get a good sense of how your core kicks in to make these moves strong for you.
© 2022 Kristen Carter. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: gpointstudio | iStock