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General fitness - Week 3

Core exercises

Having a strong core can help prevent injuries. We all know it is harder to recover from injury than avoiding one in the first place. If you follow an exercise routine that includes core muscle exercises, you will have a much better chance of preventing injury.

Tips for a strong core

Daily Activity – Build it into your day

(check out our weekly workout video for more ideas)

Activity can be done anywhere! You can even do the exercises at your desk. Here are some ideas:

Seated:

  • Knee tucks (with optional hover)
  • Chair Lean backs

Standing:

  • Side bends
  • Side to side trunk rotations
  • Balance on one leg and tuck the other leg towards knee
  • Exercise can happen in 10-minute bouts.
  • Try and sneak in different types of activity every day

Core Exercises

(check out our weekly workout video for more ideas)

Having a strong core can help prevent injuries. We all know it is harder to recover from injury than avoiding one in the first place. If you follow an exercise routine that includes core muscle exercises, you will have a much better chance of preventing injury.

  • Bird Dog
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Wall or Front Plank
  • Side Plank
  • Plank Jacks
  • Leg Scissor Kicks
  • Slow Mountain Climbers
  • Side Chop

Chose activities that incorporates balance along with strength training, using major muscle groups at least 2 days per week.

Check out the Week 3 Seated Flexibility and Core handout for more details ​​​

A note about safety

There is risk of injury when participating in exercise, physical fitness and physical training programs. If you have any concerns or questions about whether or not you should participate in exercise activities demonstrated on this website or videos offered on this website, you should consult with a physician or other health-care professional before starting any exercises.

The purpose of this NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY is to inform you that this website offers health and fitness information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

BY PARTICIPATING IN EXERCISE ACTIVITIES FEATURED OR VIDEOS OFFERED ON THIS WEBSITE, YOU DO SO FREELY AND VOLUNATARILY AND ASSUME ALL OF THE RISKS AND HAZARDS OF PARTICIPATION, INCLUDING THE LEGAL RISK. THE CITY OF CALGARY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSS, PERSONAL INJURY (INCLUDING DEATH) OR DAMAGE (INCLUDING PROPERTY DAMAGE) SUFFERED BY ANY PERSON AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR MISUSE OF ANY INFORMATION, THIS WEBSITE AND VIDEOS MADE AVAILABLE ON THIS WEBSITE.

In consideration of performing or participating in these exercises shown on this website, you hereby agree to release and hold harmless The City of Calgary its officers, employees, volunteers and agents, against any loss, liability, damage, cause of action, cost, or expense of any nature whatsoever, including without limitation reasonable solicitors’ fees and other legal costs.

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engaging the core 

1. How to Engage the Core

1 set, 5 reps, 2 times a week

How to engage your core

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Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your fingers just in and down from your hip bones so you can monitor the muscle contraction. 

To engage the pelvic floor muscles, pull up inside as if you were stopping the flow of urine. 

To engage the transverse abdominus muscle you can picture a line connecting your hip bones and try to connect them or draw gently your navel in towards your spine. 

Make sure that your abdominals stay relaxed and that you continue to breathe.​

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arms crossed crunch 

2. Crunch Arms Crossed

1 set, 8+ reps, 2 times a week

How to do a crossed arms crunch

​​Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your arms across your chest, tuck your chin in, and lift your head and shoulders off the ground about an inch. Lower your head and shoulders and repeat.​

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dead bug exercise 

3. Beginner Dead Bbug

1 set, 8+ reps, 2 times a week

How to do the beginner dead bug

​​Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms at your sides.

Raise one arm over your head as you lift the opposite leg up to about 90 degrees.

​​Repeat on the other side.​​

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glute bridge 

4. Glute Bridge

1 set, 8+ reps, 2 times a week

How to perform the glute bridge

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Lie on your back with your knees bent. Contract your buttocks to lift your hips off the ground until your trunk is aligned with your legs. Slowly return to the initial position and repeat.​

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bird dog 

5. Bird Dog

1 set, 6+ reps (hold 10 sec.), 2 times a week

How to do the bird dog

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Get on your hands and knees (four point position), with your knees directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders.

Place your back in a neutral position (slightly arched) and tuck your chin. Slightly tighten your abdominals and lumbar muscles. Then lift one arm and the opposite leg off the floor without allowing the trunk or pelvis to move or rotate.​​

Lower your leg and arm back to the floor and repeat the exercise with the other leg and the opposite arm.​​​​

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cobra 

6. Cobra

1 set, 5+ reps, 2 times a week

How to do the cobra

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Lie face down on the floor with your arms at your sides and your palms down. Keeping your abs and glutes tight, lift your chest off the floor, and raise your arms up and back toward your hips, rotating the thumbs up. Now, lift both legs off the floor. Hold for the recommended time and lower them back to the starting position.​

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transversus activation

7. Transversus Activation

3 sets, 10-20 reps, 2 times a week

How to activate your transversus abdominus

​​Stand up straight and tall, shoulder blades back and down.

Inhale and relax the abdomen and as you exhale, bring your belly button towards your spine. As you activate your transverse abdominus, engage your pelvic floor muscles.

Do not hold your breath during the contraction.​​

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abdominals heel touch

8. Abdominals Heel Touch

1 set, 8+ reps, 2 times a week

How to do the abdominal heel touch

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On your back with knees bent, move the upper body to the right and left while keeping your shoulders raised to touch your heels.​

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med ball twist 

9. Med ball twist

1 set, 8+ reps, 2 times a week​

How to do the med ball twist

​​Sit down in a sit-up position with your feet on the ground. Twist the med ball from left to right. Do not flex or rotate the trunk.

No med ball? You can use a free weight, or a soup can or no weight!​

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