Total Core Workout on the Total Gym

Three Favorite Core Exercises on Total Gym

It’s summertime, and because we wear less clothing and put on our bathing suits many people are wishing for a tighter tummy. I am proud of my colleagues in the fitness industry who have done a great job lately educating the public on the importance of the developing the core and not just the abs. My favorite definition of “the core” is all the muscles that support the spine. Not just the ones we can see in the mirror, but all the muscles on the backside, too. Sure a flat tummy is aesthetically nice and six pack abs are fun to look at if you’re dedicated to 7% body fat! But for the rest of us, having a strong, functional core will benefit everything we do from sitting at a desk all day to working out or being active. A properly trained core is essential for a healthy posture, which makes the body more efficient, less injury and backache prone, and yes, more aesthetically pleasing.

Check out the video to see my three favorite core exercises on the Total Gym:

1. Seated Crunch – These are perfect while you’re recovering from working another body part. Set the Total Gym to a middle resistance level, ensuring the cables are underneath your arms and then give yourself a big hug with the handles in your hands. With your knees bent and feet on the glide board, lean back until you feel your core engage. From there, focus on squeezing the six-pack muscles rather than thinking about moving the body from A to B. Yes, your back muscles are also working so don’t be alarmed if you feel fatigue there, too. Remember, the back muscles are an intricate part of your core so if you’re feeling them then you’re doing it right!
2. Plank and Dynamic Plank – Good old planks – one of the best overall core exercises. Set the Total Gym on one of the lower levels (to make it more challenging, adjust your Total Gym down). Although holding the glide board on the sides allows the wrists to be almost neutral (not too much flexion), you can go onto your fists or down on the elbows if that position bothers your wrists. Dynamic plank involves an open glide board with option movement which requires even more core stability and balance.
3. Basic Scrunch with and without the accessory – Set the Total Gym on one of the lower levels. Use your shoulder and upper back muscles to stabilize yourself during this exercise, but ensure all the movement is coming from the hips. Your upper body should not move whatsoever.

The Dynamic Plank and the Scrunch have become so popular that Total Gym listened to their users and created the Core Trainer. This little slice of the Total Gym provides a dedicated machine to train their core using your own body weight. Good, solid, functional training – the Total Gym way!

JayDee Cutting III, MBA

JayDee Cutting III, MBA is an Educator for the American Council On Exercise and holds 12 fitness certifications including Pilates, yoga, personal training, lifestyle and weight management. JayDee is a Total Gym master trainer and spokesmodel since 2004. He lectured and taught wellness at Rancho La Puerta Fitness Spa and is featured in over 10 fitness DVDs and over 40 fitness television programs. He developed his own Coregolf Fitness Program and founded the NiceDogYoga Company. His mission statement is: “My passion is inspiring people to enhance their lives through wellness, creating healthier, happier, higher qualities of life.”

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