Oprah's reached her goal weight, and is thanking her summer road trip trainer, Chris Robinson, for getting her there. Want a stronger core like Oprah? Try Chris's top three basic exercises to find your core!
Start with standing with the back against the wall. Walk feet forward until the entire back is flat, especially the lower back. Pull your ribs together while tightening the lower abdominal region—there should be a stretched feeling on the lower back. Your feet should be connected at the heels at a 30-degree angle (V- position). Hold your heels together by squeezing the glutes and the inner thighs. Use your lats to pull shoulders down as far as possible—invision your shoulders being pulled into the abs.
Maintain all of these positions while keeping the spine against the wall. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Squat on the Wall
Make sure the wall you use for the exercise is smooth. Start by standing with your back against the wall. Walk feet forward until the entire back is flat, especially the lower back. Pull your ribs together, and tighten the lower abdominal region. There should be a stretched feeling on the lower back. Your feet should be parallel and slightly more than shoulders' width apart. Push through heels as you slide down the wall. Stop just before quads are parallel to the ground, then slide up the wall. Important: Make sure your glutes are doing all of the work. You should not feel the quads are working. Make sure it's all butt!
Do three sets of 12 repetitions.
Start the exercise lying with your abs facing the ground. Place elbows directly under the shoulders. Important: Make sure your back position is the same as if you were on the wall. The spine is long. The ribs are pulling together and the lower abs flexed. Your feet are in a V-position with heel together and toes apart. Squeeze your glutes and inner thighs to hold heels together.
Do three sets of holding for 10 to 20 each set.
"After each session, I always make sure the client comes away with learning at least one concept," Chris says. "In order to use the core properly, the spine must be elongated and protected. To do this, you must flex the lower ab region. On every exercise, you must feel the force of the work in the abs and not the lower back."
Published on July 15, 2006