The time you wait is the time you lose. Learn how to strengthen your core for balance and flexibility
By Cheryl Coppa
It’s yet another change you experience after a certain age and unless you train for it, or put up a little fight for it, you will lose it!
🛑 We All Need To Be Able To Get Up Off The Floor As We Age
When it comes to your everyday life, think about this: You want to get on the ground to play with your child, grandchild, or pet.
Maybe it’s really hard for you just to get down to the ground, if you can get there at all, let alone get up off the ground, without any assistance from furniture or someone else. This is a good measuring point as you start to work on your core, balance, and flexibility. Something you want to work towards and keep is being able to get down and up off the floor as we age! And God forbid you fall and are unable to get up because you are lacking strength.
What You Need Is Core Strength, Balance, And Flexibility
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.” ~ Jana Kingsford
You know the basic importance of needing your Balance:
👉🏽 Prevent falls.
👉🏽 Maintain independence and confidence in the abilities of your body.
“Bend so you don't break”
Why Is Flexibility Important?
👉🏽 To keep your body in the best range of motion as you age.
👉🏽 To live and move pain-free.
👉🏽 Flexibility really is a necessity for optimal fitness and optimal movement in your everyday life.
“it’s not the load that breaks you, it’s how you carry it ” ~ Lou Holtz
Core strength; ties this all together:
👉🏽 Better posture, balance, and overall fitness.
👉🏽 A strong core is the foundation of a strong, functional body.
So much of how we train as women over 40 comes down to our core health and strength. So, it’s no surprise that core exercises are part of training for balance and flexibility.
Proper Breathing Plays An Essential Role In Your Core And Flexibility Training
The very first step would be to learn proper breathing. If you have been in any class from yoga to strength training, your trainer will always be cueing breathing or reminding you to breathe. For successful core training and flexibility training, breathing is part of that! Breathing properly is going to engage all your core muscles, instead of just going through the motions and not using your core and putting yourself at risk for injury. When it comes to flexibility training, breathing is also important. Sometimes one might hold their breath, when you do this you hang on to tension which contributes to tight, rigid muscles.
Breathing is so important to take the time to learn, it will serve you in every single training you do as well as your daily life. Breathing with your movements and exercises to get the most out of it, to keep your movements safe and effective.
Step One, Fitness 101: Learn How To Breathe And Incorporate Your Core
This breathing technique alone is a core and pelvic floor strengthening exercise. To really dig deep and understand this technique (especially if you suffer from back pain, leaking of urine, prolapse, or painful intimacy ), see HERE. Once you learn, use this breathing WITH ALL the exercises you ever do, especially core exercises.
Our Core & Pelvic Floor Program digs deep into learning/mastering this. I love planks for training core, balance, and flexibility. Whenever I teach a “HIIT” class, I remodel this classic format to always include balance and flexibility. We are already taking the time to do a class, so why not “HIIT” it all? Especially since we need it and don’t necessarily want to invest extra time in training balance and flexibility.
Check out this video clip on different plank variations (different levels and exercises ) that can be used to train your core, balance, and flexibility all in one:
One exercise that trains all 3! What's not to love? And what's really great is this is measurable. You can feel how challenging it is when you first start working on it and as you get stronger and it doesn’t feel so much like a challenge, you try the next level and so on. Remember while you are doing these exercises incorporate the CORE BREATHING to really engage all your inner core muscles which will give you that strength and stability for balance and will always protect your pelvic floor and your spine.
Here is standing exercise that also trains core, balance, and flexibility:
You really can have fun training for balance and flexibility! And like I mentioned before, it’s all so measurable and you can scale to your ability. It’s also rewarding and makes you proud once you conquer one level and move on to the next.
How Often Should You Train For Core, Balance, And Flexibility?
To really notice a change, I recommend 3x a week. This is the recommendation across the board when working on anything. Whether it be stronger legs, or arms, or core, train it 3x a week. You can still make progress if you train or practice once or twice a week, anything is always better than nothing and still keeps you progressing. But, with at least 3x a week, you will notice it and feel it much quicker and be able to progress much quicker as well. The time you wait is the time you lose.
Start practicing and training now! Not sure how to start and progress? If you are a brand new beginner there is a perfect program for you, it is called “Let’s Start”. This is a safe and steady place to start. This will give you a mix of everything you need to work on strength, core, balance, and flexibility. If you have fitness experience and don't need a beginner's start but need a specific plan to follow, I have a plan for you!
Every member at Ola Ka Ola has access to the trainers to create a special individualized plan just for you and your goals. Just be sure to check your inbox upon registering and we will chat soon!
About Cheryl Coppa
✔️ A certified Core Confidence Specialist (Core and Pelvic Floor retraining)
✔️ A certified Personal Trainer specializing in women's fitness over 40
✔️ Low-Pressure Fitness / Hypopressive certified by creator Dr. Tamara Rial
✔️ Pre/postnatal corrective exercise specialist
✔️Instructor of the Pelvic Floor Health program, Ola Ka Ola
✔️ 40 years young, wife & mother of 3