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5 challenging core exercises

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  May 15, 2013 07:00 AM

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RyanHealy100.jpgRyan Healy is a personal trainer for the Lynch/van Otterloo (LVO) YMCA in Marblehead. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and earned her BS in Exercise Sports Science from Elon University. Find more posts by her in conjunction with the LVO YMCA at She can be reached at

Summer is fast approaching, and if you're looking for some new core exercises to challenge and strengthen your midsection, give these highly effective five a try!

Body Saw

• You can use paper plates, furniture slides, or Valslides underneath your feet
• Keep the body nice and straight
• If your hips start to drop or sag, you’ve gone too far back
• Also try this TRX version

Ab Snails

• Also works arms, back, and glutes
• Initiate hip lift by squeezing the glutes and extending hips until your body is in a straight line from ankles to shoulders

Stability Ball Knee Tucks

• Keep wrists and elbows underneath the shoulders
• Tuck knees in together towards chest
• The further down the ball is along your legs, the harder the exercise will be
• For more of a challenge, try this alternative

Single Arm Renegade Row

• Keep core braced with shoulders and hips square to the floor, instead of shifting your weight to one side
• A wider stance with the feet will make the exercise easier, and a closer stance will enhance the difficulty
• Also works arms and back
• Can be done with 2 arms, 1 dumbbell in each hand, from the floor as well

Half-kneeling Anti-rotation Press

• Squeeze the glute of the kneeling leg throughout the movement
• Rotate through the chest and push the bar forward
• Use a tricep rope if you don’t have a bar, and maintain tension in the rope at all times
• Keep a nice tall posture with shoulders back

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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