Core?! Who ever thought that could be its OWN, separate class? Apparently, it is. And you know what else? It’s great!
On the particular day I took this class, I was working from home and having a very busy, very rough day. I needed to burn off some steam real quick on my lunch break so I could get back to work. I figured I should give Julie Wigley’s 30-minute Core class a try because my back had been hurting lately and I noticed that it hurt a little less when I used my core muscles. I realized I really need to learn to do that more, especially when doing everyday things like lifting boxes or putting together my new Ikea bed!
You may think, like I did, that this class will be 30 grueling minutes of crunches, but it’s not! We did a ton of exercises like planks, side crunches, hip bridges, band exercises, and more that also activated other muscles. It was also fast paced so it got my heart pumping a little and kept me on my toes the whole time. All my muscles felt the burn while I learned to activate my core muscles.
We did one standing track with the resistance band (or a weight) and did toe taps; we essentially just stood on one leg and tapped the other around. It was very easy work, but I felt it in my abs, which I normally wouldn’t have. Because I had started with crunches and other exercises that I knew how to activate my core with, I was able to recognize how to turn those muscles on for the new exercises. It was helpful thinking about how I could use that in daily routines. I even let my dogs run around me to see if I could handle it with the added distractions they bring. Turns out I can’t do that so well, but the photos are entertaining, and my dogs enjoyed it.
This class was filled with lots of unique movements you wouldn’t think about for core, which was helpful if you need some new exercises. I like to make my own workouts at home sometimes, especially a rep challenge. I keep a list of different types of exercises for each muscle group/cardio so that I can quickly pick some out to put together a new challenge. For example, if I feel like I need a leg-heavy workout, I might do 50 lunges on each leg, 50 squats, 50 star jumps, 100 mountain climbers, 50 bicycle crunches, 50 weighted-toe raises, and 100 high knees, to make a 500 rep challenge. I might even go through that twice to make a 1,000 rep challenge! Adding in classes like this core one really help me learn new exercises that I can use on my own. Another great way to learn new movements is with personal training. Trainers can help tailor workouts for your goals, teach you how to engage your muscles, and safely improve your workout routine. Merritt offers one-on-one, small group, and other options for training.
I recommend sprinkling in a core class into your workout routine once in a while. Most workouts are usually weight training, cardio, or recovery focused, but I think core is a little different – it’s something extra that you may not think about that can help you in everyday life if you make sure to incorporate it occasionally. It’s also just a fast, fun class to add in on days when you want to work out but don’t have a ton of time. I feel like I accomplished a lot in that short 30-minute timeframe.
It’s too bad I am about 15 years too late for the Plank trend, because I might finally be able to do it! Are there any other weird/cool trends kids are doing now that I can get TikTok famous with?! Granted I still struggled to keep my core muscles activated the entire 30 minutes, but that just means I need to take this class a few more times before making my TikTok debut!
Merritt Clubs On Demand is available to members and non-members. Click here for more info or to try it out free.