If you’re working in a busy office, you know only too well that your seat becomes your throne for the long work day. You’re constantly shuffling through papers, making phone calls, and typing e-mails. Before you know it, hours can go by and you still haven’t moved from your spot. Executive desk jobs – or any job where you’re sitting for most of the day – presents a health hazard to your cardiovascular health but also your core muscles.
Let’s take a look at why a strong core is so important and the best core workout for busy executives.
What is the Core?
When you hear the word “core,” what do you think of? If you’re like most, you immediately think of your abdominal or front stomach muscles. This is only half correct. Your core encompasses all of the muscles in the middle of your torso including the following:
- Rectus Abdominis (front of your abs – referred to as the six pack)
- Transversus Abdominis (deep core muscle located underneath the Rectus Abdominis)
- External/Internal Obliques (sides of your body)
- Lower back muscles
- Hip Flexors including glutes (hip and butt muscles)
Think about all of these muscles mentioned above and you can quickly see how sitting all day long is going to be a problem for them.
Importance of a Strong Core
When you sit, you don’t use these muscles. Overtime, the inactivation of these muscles makes them weak and prone to injury. How?
When your stronger muscles see how weak the core muscles above are becoming, they jump in to help. This is known as over compensation. The problem here is that the workload being placed on the stronger muscles is too great, increasing risk for a tear or strain.
What’s more, the weaker your core muscles become, the greater the chance that a simple movement such as bending over to tie your shoes can result in a pulled muscle.
You might not be able to avoid working at a desk – unless you buy a standing desk – but you can certainly curtail your workout program to put a strong emphasis on those muscles at risk from sitting.
Core Workout for Executives
Perform the following workout three times per week. Once this workout is no longer challenging, add in one more set for each exercise. You can also perform it four times per week, giving yourself a rest day in between each core-focused workout day.
Warm-Up / Stretch
- 10 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio
- 10 minutes of stretching with a heavy focus on your legs, hips, stomach, and back
- Clam Shell: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
- Hip Abduction Machine: 2 x 15
- Bridge: 2 x 30
- Standing Cross Body Knee to Elbow: 2 x 30
- Lying Down Leg Lifts: 2 x 15
- Straight-Arm Top-to-Bottom Cable Swing: 2 x 10
- Plank: 3 x 60 seconds
- Seated Vacuums (do NOT perform these standing up): 1 x Failure (do it for as long as you can)
What Core Exercises Do You Use?
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