There is good reason your stomach area defines your “core,” literally and figuratively (pun intended). Clinically known as the solar plexus region, the core is a vital area of your body. The health of the core decides the health of the rest of your body, and impacts the quality of your entire life!
When you have a strong core, it is not just food that you digest easily, but you also digest life that much better. Your perception of yourself and your response to your environment, especially during challenging times can depend on the health of your core.
For women, this is more so when combined with their intuitive abilities. If you have a weak core, it can all go wrong. When you get nervous, it is your gut that first wakes you up by working as the internal alarm, as you feel queasy in your stomach. If you have ever been fired from a job or you believe you are going to get into trouble because you did something undignified, then you will have this feeling. If you ever made a mistake on the road and caused an accident, this feeling will manifest itself in your gut.
Here are three very doable and very effective exercises to restore and strengthen your core.
The Simple Belly-Hold
This is one core exercise that needs very little space. It is so easy to practice that you can do this sitting at your desk at work. Or even when you are chopping veggies at home. Or when you are binge-watching TV on the weekend. Or pretty much anyplace, anytime!
The instructions are perfectly straightforward: pull your belly in and up. And that is all there is to this can-fix-all exercise!
Don’t let its simplicity fool you, as its effects are profound. The intent is to pull your belly region towards your heart region (sort of like trying to fit into tight leather pants). This doesn’t just touch your outward (read superficial) abdominal muscles, but the very core of your core! It goes deep and is therefore that much more impactful.
It especially works on the “transverse” abdominal muscles (also called transverse abdominis or TVA), which are responsible for maintaining the strength of your back, and the agility of your arms and limbs. If you look closer, you will see how these extraordinary muscles come into play in almost all of our movements. Therefore, it makes more sense to work directly on these muscles to strengthen our core, than build on superficial, outer muscles. Thus the name: belly-hold.
Yoga practitioners will also have plenty to cheer. This simple exercise is emulative of almost every breathing exercise in yoga. With every deep exhale, we powerfully push our belly in and up, targeting not the six-pack area (and this is a good thing), but the lower, core abdomen. Most breathing exercises are centered on this movement, as our exhalation helps to push all toxins out, belly up.
For newbies, it is best to lie down when you begin this exercise. Keep your back flat on the floor and place your hands on your hip bones. This will make you more sensitive to the belly movement. Now inhale, and as you slowly exhale, push your belly in and up, and hold for 4-5 seconds (You can gradually increase up to 10 seconds).
You should feel tiny contractions in your belly area. This is great because it means that all toxins are being forcefully thrown out. Now release and repeat 4 more times, to make 1 set. You can begin with 1 set, and move up to 4-5 sets. In a very short time, you will begin to enjoy a flatter belly, strong abs and a powerful core that supports you to get the best out of life!