The Best Core Exercise to Improve Strength & Flexibility
Looking for a great core exercise which also improves your flexibility and thereby your posture? This exercise is also a "safer" abdominal exercise for people with osteoporosis. Did you know that people who did crunches and sit-ups with osteoporosis had a higher prevalence of compression fractures than people who did not exercise?
The Extended Crunch is your answer! Extend backwards over a device such as a BOSU, big physio ball, small ball or the MINIMAX. This backward bend will:
1. Open your chest and shoulders - increasing flexibility
2. Improve your spine's ability to extend. As we get older there is a tendency to round our spines - called kyphosis. Extension of the spine is the cure for kyphosis.
3. Lengthen the abdominal muscles, more than if lying flat on a mat - thus the start position will bring intensity because the abs will need to activate from this lengthened position.
4. Lifting the torso to neutral vs crunching into a rounded position will further strengthen the core in a better position for your posture. You get what you train!
5. Target lower abdominals with a strong tilt of the pelvis - feel the pubic bone curl toward your belly button on a focused exhale as the mini crunch of the torso occurs.
Check out the video below for cues...I'm doing the exercise on the MINIMAX because the MINIMAX is more stable than a big physio ball and it allows me to backbend and move my pelvis more freely than a small ball or on a BOSU.