This is the second in a 4-part series on developing greater, more complete core strength. Simply doing ordinary Crunches isn’t going to get the job done. The key to developing core stiffness that won’t “leak” precious energy while you climb is working all the muscles that surround your torso. This month you will learn the extremely beneficial Back Bridge and Side Hip Raise.
This version of a back bridge was a favorite of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee for developing a strong lower back and rock-hard core.
- Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides, your legs bent at about 90 degree, and your feet flat on the floor.
- Press down simultaneously with your feet and shoulders to lift your hips and lower back off the floor. Push your hips toward the ceiling as far as comfortably possible.
- Hold the top position for one second, then return to the starting position.
- Continue this motion for ten to twenty reps (hard).
- Rest for three minutes before performing a second set.
Side Hip Raises
This difficult exercise works many of the core muscles in different way, and in particular isolates the obliques along the side of your torso.
- Lie on your side on the floor. Press up with your floor-side arm, keeping it straight and supporting your weight so that your body forms a triangle with the floor. Rest your free arm along the other side of your body.
- Keeping your supporting arm straight, lower your hip until it touches the floor, then immediately raise it back up to the starting position.
- Repeat this lowering and raising of the hip in a slow, controlled manner for ten to twenty (hard) repetitions.
- Rest for one minute and then switch sides to perform another set.
- Rest for three minutes before performing one more set on each side (if you are able).