Have you ever done a Tabata workout? It’s a fun way to mix up your fitness routine! During your competitive season, things get pretty busy. It can be tough to juggle all the moving parts, but you really don’t want to lose all the fitness gains you made in the previous six months. It’s definitely worth the effort to carve out some time for “maintenance” workouts, so we’ve got a quick Tabata workout for you!
One part of the body that needs constant work and helps with every movement in every sport is your CORE! It is the one part of your body you can work hard every day. The following is a quick core workout that you can do in the morning when you wake up, in the lodge, rink or gym before you train, or at night before bed. It takes only 5 minutes and will help keep your body fit and avoid injuries.
Why Work Your Core?
Because the core muscles stabilize the spine from the pelvis to the shoulder, they allow the transfer of power to the arms and legs. All powerful movements originate from the center of the body out, and never from the limbs alone. Before any powerful, rapid muscle contractions can occur in the extremities, the spine must be solid and stable. The more stable your core, the more powerful your legs and arms can contract.
For dynamic sports like alpine skiing, soccer or lacrosse, the benefits of a strong core are:
– better transfer of power each turn or while stopping/shooting.
– quicker reaction to changes in terrain and opposing players.
– increased resistance to the forces trying to move us out of a balanced position.
– takes pressure and strain off of other muscles, thus reducing injuries.
Workout: Tabata – a form of high-intensity physical training in which very short periods of extremely demanding activity are alternated with shorter periods of rest.
Duration: In this workout we will do 20 seconds of WORK, and 10 seconds of REST repeatedly for 5 minutes. Pick five exercises from the list below. Perform the first exercise for two rounds of 20 sec on/10 sec off, totaling one minute. Repeat for each of the next four exercises.
If five minutes becomes too easy, double it and go for ten!
(See video for examples on how to perform each exercise.)
Plank: You can choose your plank – elbows, hands, or side. Keys are a straight body and to continually squeeze your abs.
Bicycle: Slow is always better with core so slow down this movement. Keys are to touch opposite elbow to knee and to straighten the leg completely.
Shoulder Taps: While maintaining a plank on your hands, alternate tapping the opposite shoulder with you hand. Keys are to keep the body straight throughout and a slightly wider stance to help your balance.
Crunch Claps: These are tough. Start in a scoop position with legs and shoulders off the ground. Then perform a crunch and clap your hands around your legs. Keys are to go slow, maintain balance, and straighten legs completely.
Hollow Hold: Start lying on your back and then using your core, lift your straight legs and upper body off the ground and hold. Keys are straight legs and trying to maintain a smooth arc like a “scoop”.
Crunches: Lying on your back with your knees bent, contract your core and lift your upper body off the ground so that your shoulders are no longer on the ground. Key is not to “crank” your head up, but use your abs and to do it slow!
Killers: Learned this one in the past year. This a four step exercise that involves four different crunch positions. Keep progressing through the four continuously. 1st a crunch with your arms reaching forward around your legs, 2nd a crunch reaching through your legs, 3rd a crunch lifting your left leg straight up as high as you can, and 4th a crunch lifting your right leg straight up as high as you can. REPEAT!