top of page

Core and Posture Exercises

FRONT PLANK
1. Lie face down on the floor with your forearms propped under your
shoulders and toes pulled towards your body
2. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders making a 90-degree 
angle with your forearms
3. In one motion lift your entire body so that if makes a straight line from your shoulders to your heels while pushing your forearms into the ground

4. The only parts contacting the ground should be your forearms/elbows and the balls of your feet
5. Avoid pushing your hips too high so that your body is not in a
straight line

6. You will need to contract your abdominal and buttock muscles to
maintain a rigid position

Dr.Sipe-113.jpg

HIGH PLANK
1. Get on the floor on your hands and knees with hands directly below your shoulders and knees hip-width apart
2. Straighten one leg behind you with toes flexed towards you so the ball of your foot is on the ground
3. Straighten the other leg behind you in the same manner so your hands and the balls of your feet are the only thing contacting the ground
4. Lower your hips until your body makes a straight line from your
shoulders to your heels and hold this position

Dr.Sipe-114.jpg

HIGH PLANK WITH SHOULDER TAPS
1. Assume a high plank position as described above but move your hands to just within shoulder-width and spread out your feet to just outside of hip-width

2. While holding this position touch your right shoulder with your left hand in a slow and controlled manner and then place it back on the ground in the same spot

3. Repeat by touching your left shoulder with your right hand in the
same manner
4. Try to maintain the same body position (no twisting or bending) while you do this

 

Tip: If doing this on the floor is too difficult, then elevate the front part of your body by placing your forearms or hands on a stable bench, chair or countertop. The higher the surface the easier the exercise will be.

Dr.Sipe-118.jpg
Dr.Sipe-117.jpg

SIDE PLANK
1. Lie on your side with your elbow and forearm propped directly under your bottom shoulder and your top foot placed just in front of your bottom foot

2. Push your elbow and feet into the ground while pushing the top side of your hip towards the ceiling until your body is in a straight-line position from head to feet

3. Hold this position

Dr.Sipe-115.jpg
Dr.Sipe-116.jpg

REVERSE PLANK
1. Lie on your back with your heels propped up on a step or small stool and your hands by your side

2. Place a small pillow or towel under your head if it is too uncomfortable to place it on the ground
3. Drive your heels into the step while pushing your hips toward the ceiling until your body is in straight-line position from shoulders to feet and hold this position

4. Avoid pressing the back of your head into the ground but, rather, let the weight of your body fall on the back of your shoulders

Dr.Sipe-122.jpg
Dr.Sipe-123.jpg

T-PLANK ROTATIONS
1. Start in a high plank position

2. Rotate into a high side plank position by rolling onto the sides of your feet and pointing your top hand towards the ceiling so your body
resembles a “T”

3. Rotate back into the high plank position
4. Rotate into a high side plank position on the other side
5. As you change positions try to keep the same straight alignment from your shoulders to your feet and rotate your hips and shoulders at the same time

Dr.Sipe-118.jpg
Dr.Sipe-119.jpg

TRY THE PLANK PYRAMID CHALLENGE
If you are wanting to get a strong core, then try this tried and true program using planks.
1. Get in a front or high plank position
2. Hold the plank for 10-12 seconds
3. Rest for 5-10 seconds
4. Repeat for a total of 5 planks
5. Rest 1 minute
6. Repeat for a total of 4 planks
7. Rest 1 minute
8. Repeat for a total of 3 planks
9. Rest 1 minute
10. Repeat for a total of 2 planks
11. Rest 1 minute
12. Perform your final plank
13. You’re done!!
Advanced Version: Perform the plank pyramid as described above except perform T-Plank Rotations. Hold the initial high plank position for 10-12 seconds before rolling 
into the high side plank position. Hold that for 10-12 seconds. Roll back into the front high plank position and then roll immediately into a side high plank on the other
side. Hold that for 10-12 seconds before rolling back into the high plank position and relaxing. That all counts as 1 plank!

DEAD BUG
1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor
2. Point your arms and bent knees to the ceiling so that only your trunk is contact with the floor

3. Tighten your abdominal muscles before simultaneously extending one arm over your head and straightening the opposite leg
4. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm and leg

5. During this movement it is important to keep your abdominals engaged so that your back does not arch off of the ground

Dr.Sipe-101.jpg
Dr.Sipe-104.jpg
Dr.Sipe-103.jpg

BIRD DOG
1. Get on your hands and knees with hands directly below your shoulders and knees directly beneath your hips

2. Keep your head in alignment with your body so that you are looking
straight down at the floor

3. In a slow and controlled manner, extend one arm in front of you (thumb towards ceiling) while simultaneously reaching one leg behind you until they are parallel, or close to parallel, with the floor

4. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm
and leg

5. Keep your abdominals tight throughout the movement so that your back does not arch, sag or twist. Thinking about reaching your limbs instead of lifting your limbs will help.
Easier Variation for Dead Bug and Bird Dog: Perform either of the movements using only 1 limb at a time. Extend one arm and return to the starting position. Extend the opposite leg and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other arm and leg.

Dr.Sipe-108.jpg
Dr.Sipe-107.jpg

PALLOF PRESS
1. Wrap the tubing around a pole or stair rail and hold both handles
together within a clasped fist
2. Turn your body so that the pole is beside you with your elbows bent 90 
degrees and pulled tightly into your sides

3. Make sure you are in a good upright posture before stepping sideways away from the pole to create tension on the tubing, and assume a shoulder-width stance
4. The tension from the tube will tend to rotate your body so tighten your abdominals and hips to prevent any rotation

5. You can hold this position OR slowly press your hands away from your body (which will make it more difficult) and then slowly return your hands to the starting position before repeating

6. Breath shallowly from your upper chest to prevent holding your breath

Dr.Sipe-162.jpg
Dr.Sipe-163.jpg

SNOW ANGELS IN PRONE
1. Lie face-down on the floor (you may place a small towel under your
forehead if necessary) with arms stretched overhead

2. Keeping your arms as straight as possible lift your hands off the floor
3. Pull your elbows to your sides without letting them touch the floor

4. Reverse the motion until your arms are once again overhead

Dr.Sipe-168.jpg
Dr.Sipe-169.jpg

SNOW ANGELS IN SUPINE
1. Lie on your back with legs extended and arms stretched overhead

2. Try to contact the ground with as much of your arms as you can
3. Pull your elbows to your sides while maintaining contact with the floor

4. Reverse the motion until your arms are once again overhead

Dr.Sipe-166.jpg
Dr.Sipe-167.jpg

CAT AND COW
1. Start on your hands and knees with hands directly below your shoulders and knees directly beneath your hips
2. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, arch your back to the ceiling
(rounding your spine) while dropping your chin to your chest and
tucking your hips towards your chest (the “cat” position)

3. As you inhale, reverse the motion to drop your chest and belly towards the floor while looking up at the ceiling and pushing your buttocks towards the back of your head (the “cow” position)

4. Continue cycling through this movement of breathing in and out as you move from cat to cow and back again
5. These should be rather gentle movements so do not try to force your body to move further than it can

Dr.Sipe-170.jpg
Dr.Sipe-171.jpg

EXTENDED CHILD’S POSE
1. Start on your hands and knees with hands directly below your shoulders and knees directly beneath your hips

2. Widen your knees a few inches and rotate your feet so that they touch (or almost touch)
3. “Sit” back onto your heels so that your arms are extended
4. Drop your chest between your knees and take your forehead to the floor

5. In this position, breathe slowly and deeply allowing your chest to sink closer to the floor with each exhale
6. Continue this for 30 seconds

Dr.Sipe-105.jpg
Dr.Sipe-172.jpg

THREAD THE NEEDLE
1. While sitting back in Extended Child’s Pose take one arm and “thread” it under the other arm reaching as far as you can so that it twists your upper body

2. Breathe deeply in and out for 30 seconds
3. Reset in Extended Child’s Pose and repeat with the other arm

Dr.Sipe-173.jpg

OPEN THE BOOK IN SIDE-LYING
1. Lie on your side with both hips and knees bent to 90 degrees with the top leg stacked on top of the bottom leg
2. Extend your arms in front of your chest with the top arm stacked on top of the bottom arm

3. It is best to have a small pillow or towel resting under your head
4. Keeping your legs firmly on the floor and stacked together, slowly take your top hand off of the bottom hand by rotating your upper body
5. Try to rotate onto your back to place your top shoulder blade and arm on the floor without changing the position of your stacked legs

6. The focus should be on your shoulder blade more than on your hand
7. When you have rolled as far as you can go, take several deep breaths. With each exhale try to relax more so that your shoulder blade moves even closer to the floor.
8. Return to the starting position and repeat several times
9. When finished, turn over onto your other side and repeat in the same manner.

Dr.Sipe-175.jpg
Dr.Sipe-174.jpg
bottom of page