Friday, January 22, 2010

Mistress PP's Corset of Pain Core Workout

A strong core is absolutely vital for riding. Core strength will improve your balance, enable you to effortlessly flick the bike, and keep going like the Energizer Bunny all day long. This workout will also engage your shoulders, legs and hips as a UNIT with your core, just like in real life when riding. You will even feel it in your feet and ankles.

I do this core plan one day a week ALONG WITH squats, deadlifts, and pushups performed on my other two weightlifting days. I will warn you to prepare for this workout by getting used to some squats and deadlifts first. That way you will bring some strength to the table so you can hit this harder, as well as protect your back(often a weak link for a lot of folks).

You will need a fitness ball, a 15-25#(or beyond) dumbbell OR kettlebell OR bowling ball OR books in a backpack, a small dumbbell OR anything you can hold onto that weighs about 5#, and a mat(I use a backpacking z-rest mat). You can get by without the fitness ball, but they are cheap and you should have one anyway! Optional stuff to make it harder are ankle weights and heavier dumbbells.

There are tips included for making the exercises harder. It takes me about 50 minutes to do this workout. If you need it easier don't do as many reps, but do make it as hard as you can stand it, that last rep needs to be HARD.

BEFORE you start, do a plank position--up on elbows and toes, body held straight--for as long as you can, say 10 seconds. This is "X". ETA: DO this before every workout to get your "base reading". You will improve this number each time you do this workout, I did!


1. Ball crunch
3 sets of 20

Doing crunches on a fitness ball will work your abs through a longer range of motion than on the floor and you will also use stabilizer muscles to steady yourself on the ball. When 3 sets of 20 feel easy, put two small dumbbells on your shoulders or hold a weight plate to your chest with crossed arms.

2. Plank
hold for X

3. Kettlebell Swing
3sets of 12

How to do it:
To make it harder, just get a heavier weight. You can also use a bowling ball, dumbbell, weight plate, sack of dog food or backpack full of books--NO excuses!

4. Plank
hold for X

5. Single Leg Lift with Plank
3 sets of 12

In plank position, keeping leg straight, raise it by squeezing the glute. Don't rest the leg on the floor in between raises--or DO rest it on the floor to make it easier. To make it harder put an ankle weight on.

6. Child Pose
hold and relax into the stretch for 30 seconds.
OR bend over and touch your toes. You want to stretch your lower back and hamstrings.

How to do it:

7. Dynamic Side Plank
3 sets of 12 each side

How to do it:
To make it harder put a weight on your up-hip.

8. Side Plank Right
hold for X

9. Side Plank Left
hold for X

10. Reverse Crunch
3 sets of 12

How to do it:
If this irritates your tailbone/sacrum, put your hands under your butt cheeks.
To make it harder use ankle weights and/or hold a basketball between your knees or ankles. The SLOWER you move, the harder it will work you, especially on letting your legs back down--VERY important to lower the legs SLOWLY!

Actually there are many different versions of "reverse crunch". All of them are killer and it would be good to rotate through.
Decline Bench Reverse Crunch this one is shown on a decline bench but you can also do it on a flat bench. If you do not have a bench you can lie down in front of your couch or any other heavy object and use that to hold onto. (more good ab stuff at the bottom of that page)
Incline Bench Reverse Crunch

11. Plank
hold for X

12. Ball Twist
3 sets of 24(12 each side, alternating)

How to do it:
To make it harder hold a dumbbell in your hands. To make that harder hold a weight plate between your hands by pressing your hands together. Just don't drop it on your nose.

13. Side Plank Right
hold for X

14. Side Plank Left
hold for X

15. Child Pose
hold for 30 seconds
(or touch your toes)

16. Hindu Pushups/Divebombers
3 sets of 12

How to do it:
Start with Hindu pushups. In the beginning aim for just staying off the floor as you do the movements and don't beat yourself up with perfect form(just yet) try your best. To make it harder do the Divebombers.

17. Plank
hold for X

18. Ball Jackknife
3 sets of 12

How to do it:
To make these easier as you are learning to balance, put the ball in a corner and begin with your knees on top of the ball instead of your shins and bring your knees far enough so your shins are then on the ball. This is a tricky move, so be careful.

19. Ball Oblique Crunch
3 x 12

How to do it:
This is another deceptively tricky one, you will wobble a lot, but that is all the better for kicking your butt.

20. Side Dips
3 sets of 12

How to do it:
I like to pinch grip a 25# weight plate in my dipping hand, and a 5# weight in my opposite hand. Pinch gripping a weight plate with the fingers is a great grip strengthener for the hands. When I do this I hold the opposite arm straight and swing it over my head towards the dipping side(just like when you bring your arm over your head to stretch your obliques)--this gives a little stretch in the motion, as well as a little added resistance as you return to standing up straight. BUT be very careful, MOVE SLOW and stick to form. This will keep the weight in control and not over-stretch you. Start with a very light weight in your opposite hand--it's harder than you think!

21. Plank
hold to fail and note how many seconds.

22. Cobra Pose
hold for 30 seconds

How to do it:

23: Ball Back Extention

How to do it: (with options)
to make it harder hold some weight, to make that harder hold the weight in your arms out straight over your head.

Please note--you will also get great core/back stregnth from doing squats and deadlifts in your lower body routine. Those are a more isometric use of the back muscles, a back extention is active flexion, so you need both.

23. Child Pose
relax, you're done!

Let me know how it goes!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Im going to pick up a ball tomorrow hopefully and then I will try the corset of pain, or it least some of it. I love it!..."the corset of pain" lol too funny.