In theory, it's easy to be a stickler about your exercise form. But in practice, when you're sweaty and tired, it's more difficult. Luckily, sometimes all it takes is the simplest of tricks to really dial in your form. In this week's Trainer of the Month Club workout, Simone de la Rue, founder of Body By Simone, shares one such trick for keeping your back straight while planking: "Imagine you've got a tray of cookies on your back," she says. "You do not want to spill those."
Keep this in mind throughout the static bear core series that de la Rue demos. It features different variations of a bear plank designed to strengthen your core as well as get your heart rate up without sacrificing form. There are six movements in the series, and you'll do each one for 10 reps. "Even though this is a core workout, you'll notice we're also building strength in our deltoids and pecs, and the heart rate is up," says de la Rue.
- Simone de la Rue, celebrity fitness trainer and founder of Body By Simone
"Slow and steady and beautiful and control, let's go," says de la Rue. Press play to see the workout in action, and follow along with the movements below.
Static bear core series with Simone de la Rue
This series can be tailored to your own fitness level. De la Rue recommends one round if you're a beginner, two rounds if you're at an intermediate level, and three rounds if you are advanced.
1. Plank to bear plank
Start in a plank position. "Draw that navel to spine, activate the glute and hamstring," says de la Rue. Then walk your feet forward one at a time so that your knees are underneath your hips in a static bear pose. Walk your feet back out to plank. Do 10 reps.
2. Jump into bear plank
Start in a plank position. Jump your feet forward at the same time into a static bear pose, with your feet under your hips. Jump them back into plank position. Do 10 reps.
3. Jumping bear plank plus step out
"These actually look easier than they are," says de la Rue. Start in a plank position. Jump your feet forward into a static bear pose. Step one foot out to the side and then back in. Repeat on the other side. Jump your feet back into a plank position. Do 10 reps.
4. Jumping bear plank plus lateral abduction
Start in a plank position. Jump your feet forward at the same time into a static bear pose. From there, lift one leg up to the side, then bring it back into static bear. Repeat on the opposite side. Jump back into plank position. Do 10 reps.
Start in static bear. Bring one leg across your body to the opposite side, while pulling back the opposite arm. "So the idea is that you're keeping this core strength the whole time as you pull and you're transferring your weight," says de la Rue. Return to bear plank, and repeat on the other side. Do 10 reps.
6. Hollow hold
Sit on your mat with your legs bent and roll down onto your back. Keep your head and shoulders off the ground. Lift your legs up. Extend your arms and your legs at the same time. Hold for 10 seconds.
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