V Core Power
Note: If at any point your back begins to hurt, stop, relax, and stretch out a bit. Once you feel better, begin at the starting position again, making sure to go through all the steps.
Starting PositionBegin seated on the floor with your knees pulled up to your chest. For this exercise is it very important that you really focus on using your core and stabilizing muscles to support your lower back; to do this, pull your belly in toward your spine, open and lift your chest, and try to lengthen your spine (pull your spine up through the crown of your head). Make sure you continually work of maintaining this support throughout the entire exercise! To bring in the rest of your body, press your knees and feet together to activate your leg muscles. In addition, extend your arms out in front of your shoulders, lengthening and tightening your arm muscles as much as you can; this will activate all of your arm muscles. Now for the 3 levels of the “V Core Power”. Begin with the 1st level. If you can successfully do this without causing any back pain, move on to the 2nd level. Again, if you can successfully do this level without causing any back pain, then and only then, should you progress on to level 3.
Keep the starting position described above. To activate your core, lean back slightly with your upper body; this will make you hold up the weight of your upper body with your core muscles while still giving you support and grounding since your feet are on the floor. Keep pressing those legs together to pull some of the work into your other muscles groups. Start with 3-6 rounds of 10 seconds. If this goes well, begin increasing the duration of your rounds. Once you can do 2-4 rounds of 30 seconds, move on to Level 2.Level 2 – Half V
Begin at the Level 1 position. Now, we’re going to eliminate the extra leg stabilization by picking your feet up off the ground. Keep your knees bent and pressing together while holding your calves parallel to the ground. Make sure you keep pulling in with your belly and extending out and up with your chest!!! Again, start with 3-6 rounds of 10 seconds. If this goes well, begin increasing the duration of your rounds. Your goal is to do 2-4 rounds of 30 seconds. If you can do this without any back pain, try increasing the time; see if you can get up to 1 minute! Once you can do either of these last two things, you can move on to Level 3.
Level 3 – Full V
Begin in the Level 2 position. Keeping the knees and thighs pressed together, lift your feet up until your legs are straight. Now you will really feel your legs working in addition to the rest of your body! If you are in the proper position, your body will be making a symmetrical V shape. Please, please, please make sure you keep pulling your belly in and extending out and up with your chest!!! Like in the other rounds, start with 3-6 rounds of 10 seconds. If this goes well, begin increasing the duration of your rounds. Your goal is to do 2-4 rounds of 30 seconds. If you can do this without any back pain, try increasing the time; see if you can get up to 1 minute!