Core Movements Volume 1 & 2

Core Movements is a series of workouts by Tracie Long. There are 3 DVDs in this series and each DVD contains 2 approx. 30 minute workouts. Once I fell in love with Tracie’s workouts I started hoarding all of her newer stuff but for some reason I avoided these Core Movements workouts. The idea of working my core for 30 minutes sounded horrific to me. I like my intense core work in short 10 minute bouts. If it is longer than that I want it to be varied. But Tracie has had some really great sales so one day I bought all 3 Core Movements DVDs. When I scheduled them into my workout rotation, I set them as doubles workouts (a second, shorter workout I do every day after I get home from work) since they are all approx 30 minutes. Then I previewed them. These workouts were not at all what I thought they were so I had to restructure my rotation. The two workouts on each DVD work together very nicely so they are actually great for an hour long workout. In addition, though there is definitely core work in these workouts (particularly the first workout on each DVD), the workouts are more functional strength and mobility focused. Plus, they are so varied that so you never spending a ton of time doing one move. Tracie strengthens your core from all directions and works on functional mobility. Sundays are my recovery days so I try to do something different from what I do the rest of the week. I generally do yoga/flexibility and mobility work. Tracie’s Core Movements DVDs fit perfectly into what I do on Sundays. So I rescheduled all of them as Sunday workouts.

This morning I did Volume 1 & 2 and wow! I am so impressed with these workouts! Volume 1: Brace Yourself gave me some excellent functional strength work. Tracie worked my entire core, front to back and also worked my lower body, chest and shoulders. Volume 2: Loosen Up is some deep and intense stretching. You also get some mobility work in that workout, too. These are not big calorie burners. In a little over an hour I only burned 150 calories doing this DVD (according to my FitBit) but I also felt well worked–my hip joints felt looser! I am very much looking forward to giving her other two Core Movements DVDs a try now. Between Tracie and Mark Lauren, I now have my Sundays mapped out for quite a while!

Core Movements Volumes 1 & 2 is not available on Amazon for some reason but you  can get it from Tracie’s website and also from Total Fitness DVDs. Total Fitness DVDs has a video clip.

Volume 1: Brace Yourself is 30:30 minutes. No warm up or stretch. Equipment: resistance loops of different strengths, sliding devices, one dumbbell and a medicine ball. (I used 2 different resistance loops–a heavier one for the lower body work, one 15 pound dumbbell and a 5 pound medicine ball). As mentioned above, this is a functional strength workout that works your lower body, chest, shoulders and core.

Loops Band:

  1. Place loop around calves, lower into a squat and squat walk 4 steps to each side; remain in squat and step right foot out to side then back in 3x then 3x on left; changes to stepping right foot forward and back 3x then out to side once, repeat on left side
  2. Raise band so it is above the knees, squat and hold briefly; continue squatting but quicker, no hold at bottom; remain in squat and step out side to side
  3. Loop is still above knees; lower into squat and hold isometrically and press knees out to side; do 8 more squats
  4. Lay on side on one hip and elbow/forearm, loop is still above the knees, knees are bent, raise hips and open and close knees while keeping hips raised
  5. Still on side but arm is now extended on floor overhead, loop is still above the knees, hip and outside of bottom thigh is on the floor, bring top knee down to the floor in front of you then kick leg out straight behind you; knees still bent, feet raised behind you with insoles together, open and close knees
  6. Repeat #4 & 5 on other side of body
  7. (get a lighter resistance loop) Place loop around forearms and get into straight arm plank, do push ups, lowering to a 3 count and raising to a 1 count; changes to knee push ups, lowering to count of 2 then pushing back to child’s pose
  8. Loop still around forearms, still in straight arm plank, alternate stepping hands out to side; hold plank; step hand out to side and do a push up, alternate sides

Sliders:

  1. In elbow plank with sliding devices under feet, alternate sliding foot out to side first slow then faster
  2. Lay on back, knees bent and heels on sliders, raise hips isometrically and alternate sliding legs out; changes to 3 alternating slide outs then slide both legs out and in at the same time
  3. In straight arm plank with sliders under feet, slide feet in under body, bringing knees to belly button then sliding feet back out to plank; changes to one slow double knee slide in + 8 sliding mountain climbers

Core Rotations:

  1. Lay on back, knees bent and and raised off floor, holding a moderately heavy DB, extend arm/DB to ceiling keeping arm straight, slowly rotate bent knees away from DB arm; keep legs raised at 90 degrees and straighten same side leg that is holding DB until it is a few inches off the floor then return it to 90 degrees (I used one 15# DB)
  2. Bird dog crunches (on all 4s, extend one arm straight and the opposite leg straight, touch knee to elbow underneath body then extend straight again)
  3. Repeat #1 & 2 on other side of body
  4. Lay on back, placing one heavy DB on floor above head, hold the ends of the DB in your hands, raise and lower knees to 90 degrees, tapping floor with heels; add pull overs with DB (I used one 15# DB)

Back Strengthening:

  1. Lay on stomach with legs straight, elbows on floor beside ribs and palms on floor, place hands in push up position and raise them a few inches off the floor, from this starting position, extend arms straight in front of you in superman position then return them to push up position but not touching the floor and hold then place them back on floor in starting position
  2. In elbow side plank, pull top knee up, then bottom knee up, then lower and raise hips
  3. Lay on stomach with forehead on the ground, knees bent and feet raised to ceiling, arms are on the floor in goal post, raise arms, head, chest and legs off floor and hold isometrically

Transverse Abdominals:

  1. Sit on bottom with knees bent, feet on floor and hold medicine ball between knees, hold one end of loop in each hand, lean torso back slightly and pull loop out to sides of body, squeezing shoulder blades together and keeping elbows close to sides
  2. (set med ball and loop aside) Lay on back, one leg extended straight, other knee bent with foot on floor, place both hands under small of back, raise head, elbows and shoulders off ground then raise straight leg a few inches, then lower both leg and upper body back to floor
  3. Lay on back, knees bent and feet in floor, arms are on floor extended to the side, windshield wiper knees side to side; hold bent knees to one side, place bottom ankle on top of top knee to pull it down lower, stretching deeper

Volume 2: Loosen Up is 34:30 minutes. Equipment: yoga block, foam roller, a resistance loop and a medicine ball. I used a 5 pound medicine ball. This workout consists of some deep stretching and mobility work.

Hip/Quad:

  1. In a kneeling lunge, lean torso forward with one hand on the ground and the other hand on same side front foot, use that elbow to push against the knee, in this position, do small hip circles
  2. Still in kneeling lunge, raise same side hand as front leg toward the ceiling and look up toward hand; place hand back on front foot and raise opposite hand toward the ceiling and look up toward that hand
  3. Still in a kneeling lunge, but no longer leaned forward and with legs closer together, place hands behind head and do side bends toward front leg side
  4. Repeat #1-3 on other side of body
  5. Sit in butterfly pose, place hand on same side knee and press down while rotating torso in opposite direction, alternate sides, holding briefly on each side

Pigeon (Butt):

  1. In pigeon pose, lower to elbows then raise back to hands, alternate between elbows and hands; stay on elbows and turn torso toward front hip; extend arms along floor away front you first to the side then in front of you then to the other side then Tracie wants you to hold whichever of these 3 positions felt the tightest
  2. Repeat #1 on other side

Thoracic:

  1. Lay with mid back on foam roller, knees bent and feet on floor, hands behind head, slowly raise hips high then lower them back to the ground
  2. Child’s pose with hands on foam roller, arms straight, hands turned to side so pinky side of hand is on roller
  3. Get on all 4s with foam roller between legs, feet squeezing the foam roller, hips back slightly, one hand behind head, raise elbow high then twist elbow under body toward opposite knee

Adductors:

  1. Get on all 4s then extend one leg out straight to side with foot on floor, in this position, slowly push hips back and hold, then return to start; rotate foot so only heel is on floor and toes facing the ceiling and repeat, slowly pushing hips back; lower to your elbows and point and flex foot (heel still on the ground, toes facing ceiling)
  2. Stand with legs wide and straight, torso hinged forward with hands on floor, raise one hand off floor and rotate torso, raising hand to ceiling and gazing up at hand (if needed place a yoga block under hand on floor), alternate sides

Hamstrings:

  1. Lay on back and bring both knees into chest, hands around shins, pulling knees closer to chest; extend one leg straight on floor, still pulling other leg into chest and hold, then switch legs, keep alternating, pulling each leg briefly into chest
  2. Figure 4 stretch
  3. Still laying on back, one leg extended straight on ground, resistance loop around other foot, extend that foot straight up to the ceiling, knee slightly bent, hands are holding other end of band and pulling it down to stretch the hamstring; “crawl” up your leg with your hands, bringing your forehead into your knee

The Turkish Get Up:

  1. Lay flat on back, extend right leg straight on floor, left leg is bent, foot on floor and a little out to the side, right arm is extended to side on floor and left arm is raised straight to ceiling, roll torso up, raising onto right elbow and reaching right left arm to ceiling then lower back down; add pushing yourself up onto your right hand and raising your hips so you are balanced on your left foot, the side of your right foot and your right hand (left leg is still bent and right leg is still straight), bring right leg through so you are now in a kneeling lunge with right knee/shin in floor, raise right hand off floor so you are now in an upright kneeling lunge, left arm is still raised to ceiling, then raise to standing, reverse the entire move until you are laying on the floor in the start position
  2. Lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, do marching bridge, raising hips and one knee into chest, alternate legs
  3. Repeat #1 on other side of body
  4. Repeat #2
  5. Repeat #1 holding a medicine ball in the left hand, alternate sides
  6. In a kneeling lunge, raise one arm to ceiling while reaching the other arm to the ground
  7. Kneel on both knees with a yoga block under bottom/on heels, place arms behind head and open elbows wide, stretching chest

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