Fitness Tips

A Trainer Says This Type of Core Exercise Is Even More Effective Than Planks

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It's not always "go big or go home" at the gym. Small movements can have a big impact, as seen in this week's Trainer of the Month Club. In the episode, Bridget O’Carroll, founder of Studio Qila, the first Native-owned digital fitness studio, demos a no-plank core workout that focuses on slow and controlled stabilizer work. O'Carroll says that this kind of work is actually more efficient for your abdomen than crunches, because "it's calling your entire core into play rather than just working the superficial front piece of your abs."

Your body has two different types of muscle fibers: slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch muscles are smaller, harder-to-work muscles that are crucial for endurance, while fast twitch muscles activate during explosive, big movements. This workout focuses on the slow burn, activating those slow twitch muscle fibers and building endurance, strength, and stability.

If you aren't used to this kind of movement, you may feel shaky, and moving slowly can feel weird when you're not used to it. "That's okay. Allow it to be tough. Allow yourself to breathe through it," says O'Carroll. However, if something feels painful, there's no shame in taking a modification. "It is form over ego at Studio Qila. It is all about listening to your body and finding the challenge, but allowing yourself to take that modification when your body needs it."

Ready to start building endurance and a stronger core? Press play on the video above to get the full no-plank core workout.

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