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The Rock-Hard Core Workout - Oxygen Magazine

The Rock-Hard Core Workout

Here’s another winning workout from our February Cover Girl Elena Hight!
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By Lara McGlashan, MFA, CPT, Interim Editor-in-Chief

Professional snowboarder and Olympic hopeful Elena Hight knows about core training. “With all the spinning and flipping we do, having a strong core is super important,” she says. “We throw the spins with the top half of our bodies, but to be able to follow through with the legs, you have to have a strong core.”

This core workout from her trainer, Brad Jones, owner of B Project in Carlsbad, Calif., can get you your own set of Olympic abs — no snowboard required.

The Rock-Hard Core Workout

Exercise/Sets/Reps

Stability-Ball Trunk Twist 3 12-15 each side
Split-Leg Crunch and Punch 3 10-15 each side
Medicine-Ball Extend and Crunch 3 15-20

Stability-Ball Trunk Twist

Setup:Lie faceup on an exercise ball so your upper back and head are supported, and lift your hips to come in line with your knees and shoulders. Hold a set of dumbbells over your chest with straight arms. Flex your feet and dig your heels into the floor for stability.

Move: Keeping your arms straight, twist your torso to one side, fighting to keep your hips level. Return to the start. Continue, alternating sides.

Tip: Squeeze your glutes as well as your abs to keep your hips level and your body steady.

Split-Leg Crunch and Punch

Setup: Lie faceup on the floor and lift your legs straight up over your hips with your back arching naturally, feet flexed. Hold a set of dumbbells and open your arms straight out to the sides so they are hovering above the floor.

Move: Slowly lower one leg until it hovers a few inches above the floor. Then bring the dumbbells together over your chest and crunch up, reaching the weights for the toes of the raised leg. Lower your torso to the start, open your arms and bring both legs back into the air to complete one rep. Continue, alternating sides.

Tip: Keep your core as tight as possible when lowering your leg; don’t allow your back to arch excessively.

Medicine-Ball Extend and Crunch

Setup: Lie faceup on the floor and place a medicine ball between your knees. Lift your knees over your hips. Hold a set of dumbbells by your ears with your arms bent 90 degrees, held just above the floor.

Move: Extend your legs and reach your toes away from you until your legs are at about 45 degrees or lower to the floor. Then bend your knees and bring them back over your hips, straighten your arms and punch the dumbbells toward the ceiling. Lower back to the start to complete one rep.

Tip: Remember to breathe through this move to help deliver oxygen to working muscles.

Stability-Ball Trunk Twist

Setup: Lie faceup on an exercise ball so your upper back and head are supported, and lift your hips to come in line with your knees and shoulders. Hold a set of dumbbells over your chest with straight arms. Flex your feet and dig your heels into the floor for stability.

Move: Keeping your arms straight, twist your torso to one side, fighting to keep your hips level. Return to the start. Continue, alternating sides.

Tip: Squeeze your glutes as well as your abs to keep your hips level and your body steady.

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