Fitness Tips

This Exercise Is Great for Stabilizing Through Your Center and Lower Core—If You Aren’t Making 3 Common Mistakes

Thankfully, we've moved beyond the mentality that doing 3,245 crunches a day is the only way to strengthen your abs. Sure, crunches have their time and place, but there's a whole wide world of abs exercises to explore. One such core-strengthening move: the boat hold.

A boat hold is a great option for stabilizing through your center and lower core. But, of course, proper form is key for reaping those benefits.

In this episode of The Right Way, Bridget O'Carroll, founder of Studio Qila, the first Native-owned digital fitness platform, shows you how to do a boat hold the right way. But before getting into the right way to do a boat hold, O'Carroll outlines the three most common mistakes she sees people make in class.

3 common mistakes people make when doing a boat hold:

1. Hunching and rolling the shoulders forward

Your shoulders should be rolled down away from your ears, and your head should be held high. Imagine you're holding an orange between your neck and your chest, which will help keep your upper body in proper positioning.

2. Using momentum to get up really fast

Remember, "faster" does not necessarily mean "better"—especially if you're sacrificing your form. If you're relying on momentum to move, you're probably not engaging your core properly, which will hold you back from reaping the boat hold's full strengthening benefits.

3. Trying to push through the full range of motion instead of taking the modification

There's no shame in modification! O'Carroll would much rather you take a modification, like placing your palms on the ground, instead of hunching and/or using momentum to complete the full version of the exercise. As always, the best way to do this move is the way that works for you.

Now that you know what not to do, press play on the video above to see how to do a boat hold the right way (plus, ways to modify the movement).

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