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3 Exercises to Help Improve Core Strength

One of the hardest parts of getting fit is how to finally convince yourself that it’s time to just do it. To help you out, we’ve listed three of our favorite kinds of exercises to help improve your core strength, for a start, and to finally push you to start getting fit for real. No more ‘tomorrow for sure’ after reading this!

Yoga

I first started yoga as a Physical Education class in my university. It was calm and chill… or so I thought. Yoga will stretch the muscles you never knew you had. Some poses isolate and stretch certain parts of the body and some will help you relax and meditate.

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If you’re going to try yoga for the meditation, I always think Yoga is a physical and spiritual journey because of the sequence of the poses – it’s like you’re telling a story. The sun salutations really feel like you’re using all energy from nature. This is also why a class is important because you can really feel and draw energy from the room.

Dinda Puspitasari / Bunny Yoga

 

What I really like about yoga is that you can do it on your own pace. If you have to bend your knees so you can reach your toes, then that’s fine as long as you still feel a stretch. This exercise recognizes your current strengths and builds from that.

But it can get more intense. While yoga can be as chill as that, it also has poses that can work your midsection, and I’m talking about the whole core – your lower and upper abs and the back muscles too. Poses like the Boat Pose and Cat Pose can improve core strength and will leave you having kind of sore abs, but all to help you get fit and ready for more.

Yoga Journal

As a rehabilitative exercise, yoga was really helpful for my constant back pain. I thought it would get in the way of the exercises but specific poses helped target areas of my back that needed work.

Where: White Space in Katipunan, Quezon City. White Space is a great place for Yoga, Pilates, and even Capoeira and Sound Healing. Their classes really work both your mind and body so you’ll feel the burn but also reduce that work-related stress.

Yoga in White Space, Quezon City offers individual programs to target specific areas of your body you want to strengthen, injuries that need rehabilitation, and mental health problems that can be eased through physical exercise.

Pilates

No other fitness system targets the core as much as pilates. Developed years ago by Joseph Pilates, it targets the entire body but focuses a lot on the core as the key to physical stability and endurance.

Unlike yoga, pilates doesn’t focus much on the relationship of body and spirit. Some pilates instructors also use resistance machines, much like weight training.

What I like about pilates is that it feels like a workout but it’s modifiable depending on your current physical ability. While the poses might be a little intense, pilates offers various other poses that can target and work the same area. These will soon bring you to the more advanced poses and exercises.

There are classes for pilates but I personally tried mine through YouTube. Cassey Ho, the founder of POP Pilates, shares her pilates routines on her channel, each focused on what physical ability you’re trying to improve. Rather than counting, Cassey uses the beat of the music to take you away from the ‘work’ part of the workout and just let your body enjoy and endure better.

Where: YouTube. Cassey Ho is the award-winning pilates instructor behind blogilates, the #1 fitness channel on YouTube. She was the one who created POP Pilates that are all readily available on her YouTube channel.

As the exercises get intense and you’re on the verge of crying, she starts telling you random stories about her life and it’s just as if you’re chilling on the mat with a girlfriend. Cassey just loves motivating new POP Pilates with her perky and fun attitude!

Plana FORMA

Better yet, do both. Plana FORMA is a specialized barre technique that includes yoga, pilates, and dance. You’ll feel the burn so hard you’re probably going to hear your soul crying, but the instructors will give you all the needed motivation to stay strong.

Plana FORMA is based on the Physique 57 technique all the way from New York City developed by a dancer recovering from injury. The moves in Plana FORMA are rehabilitative and it targets and isolates specific parts of your body for all-around fitness.

During the class, the instructor told us that you know you’re doing it right when you’re shaking and you’re feeling the burn. And the day after, you’ll know their exercises are effective because you feel the stretch in every muscle of your body, I swear. Back, thighs, forearm, biceps, triceps, you name it.

I tried a Plana FORMA Core Class as a person with little to no exercise. I did notice that my body didn’t feel as much pain as I thought it would. I was still able to go to work the next day, walk properly for 25 minutes straight, and go up a flight of stairs. It’s just the right amount of stretch to push you to work out the day after.

Where: Plana FORMA  is now in Quezon City! They just launched June 1, 2017 and their place is gorgeous. Their instructors are so intense, but in a good way, and you will definitely want to go back to feel the burn over and over.

 

Plana FORMA offers classes for core strength, endurance, and balance. They even have FORMA Pointe, a flexibility muscle strengthening workout, and FORMA Flow which hails from yoga and is for improved breathing, balance, and flexibility.

Abby

Loves the sunrise but wakes up late. Also uses too many adjectives.

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