4 SURPRISINGLY EFFECTIVE FOAM ROLLER EXERCISES FOR CORE STRENGTH

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Core exercises = Get on the ground and do crunches, sit-ups, and planks….Sound familiar?

While these exercises can be great, if this is all you are doing to strengthen your core, you are neglecting vital muscle fibers in your mid-section that are critical for posture, strength, balance, and coordination.  By simply adding a foam roller to your core routine, you can achieve that beach body you are striving for AND at the same time train the little muscle fibers in your abs and back that will bring balance, functional strength, and control.  These magic fibers are called proprioceptors (AKA muscle spindles) and are too often the neglected brother of the glamour muscles.

By adding an unstable surface, you will need to make micro-adjustments and your body will call to action these stabilizing muscle spindles.  These muscles help to protect your spine and prevent alignment issues which could lead to muscular and skeletal imbalances.  This will leave you feeling healthier and more mobile.

While these 4 moves are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to implementing a foam roller in your core routine, they are a great place to start.


 

THE BRAZYN LIFE FOAM ROLLER CORE STABILITY CIRCUIT

Special thanks to USA Heptathlete Chari Hawkins (@_charihawkins) for modeling these moves for us! Check out her Instagram page for some pretty incredible athletic feats.

Just a few pro-tips before we get into these exercises:

Pro-Tip 1:  Make a conscious effort to brace your core during these exercises to maximize the benefit of the workout.

Pro-Tip 2: A full 30-inch Morph Foam Roller with the Morph Conversion Kit is the ideal tool for doing these exercises.

Pro-Tip 3: Perform these exercises to your perceived fitness threshold. Some exercises are harder than others, but as a whole this routine can be for anyone at any level of fitness. Here are a few routine guidelines for you to follow:

Beginner (1 round)
Intermediate (2 rounds)
Advanced (3 rounds)
Master (Until failure…not recommended)

1 – Knee Tucks (20-30 Reps)

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We’ll start with the quintessential foam roller core exercise. If you’re anywhere near a foam roller while you’re hitting core, this should be your bread and butter. Start in a plane position with The Morph placed beneath your upper-shin area just below your kneecaps. Slowly pull knees into a tucked position and reset by rolling your shins back.


 

2 – Foam Roll Roll-Outs (10 reps)

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A bit more of a challenging move, this exercise will pay dividends if done correctly. Kneel on the ground and place The Morph an arm’s length away. Lean forward, and starting with your forearms on top of The Morph, roll yourself forward and over your roller while keeping your knees in place. Slowly return to the starting position after The Morph has passed your elbows.


 

3 – Core Glute Bridges (20 reps)

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People often forget neglect the back when they are doing a core routine.  This can cause imbalances which can eventually lead to injuries.  A healthy core is strong on both sides. Place The Morph so that it runs parallel to your spine. If not using a full 30-inch Morph with a Conversion Kit, position The Morph between your shoulder blades. Starting with your tailbone, slowly curl your lower body raising your hips upward while squeezing your glutes to form a bridge between your back and your feet. Raise for 3 counts; hold at the top for 3 counts; lower down for 3 counts.

Challenge: Narrow your foot base to increase difficulty.


4 – Dragon Climbers (20 reps/leg)

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Traditional mountain climbers with a twist (literally). Place yourself in a plank position with The Morph underneath your lower shins oriented perpendicular to your body. Keeping your weight over your elbows, brace your core and bring your thigh forward towards your stomach, bending at the knee. Bring your knee out to the side for added difficulty. Reset to the starting position and repeat this motion with your opposite leg.


 

5 (BONUS MOVE) – Foam Roller Planks (45 sec)

As we mentioned previously, adding an unstable surface increases the demand on your secondary stabilizer muscles. Adding The Morph to an isometric exercise like the basic Plank adds a dynamic element that makes this move much more effective.

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Position the Morph underneath and perpendicular to your forearms and raise yourself into a plank position. Keeping your weight over your roller, balance and hold.

Challenge – Squeeze your glutes during the exercise to improve your form and add difficulty.