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.