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KASTRA Posts: 369
7/20/14 1:43 A

I'm still largely a beginner and started with the Workout Generator and added a few extras that felt right. My Core Grouping includes:

Back Extension
Crunches with Twist
Modified Side Plank
Reverse Crunch

Searching them above provides video how-to's. I do 2 sets of each; started with 5 reps on each of the repeatables per set, and just hold the isometrics as long as able, and that kicked my tush! Slowly adding reps to the repeatables until I can do 2 sets of 15 reps per. I'm there on some after a few months, but definitely not on the three crunch variations on the same day (owie!) Someday, I'll get there! Back Extensions, Superman, and Swimming have helped a lot to strengthen my lower back; I used to get backaches and muscle spasms that would leave me hunched and walking like a 90+ year old for a few days even with muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories until the muscles eased. No more pills for me! I haven't had a real muscle spasm/backache in a couple months now, and only got a twinge (a bit of tightness that felt like a pinched nerve when I moved just 'right' for a few days but otherwise unnoticeable unless I moved at just the right angle) earlier this week when I pushed last weekend's Sunday workout too hard.

Edited by: KASTRA at: 7/20/2014 (01:45)
Starting: 41.1 BMI and extremely sedentary
Current: 28.0 BMI with strength-training and low-impact cardio
Mini-goal: 29.9 BMI (about 164 lb) - DONE on 8/6/14! I'm no longer obese!
Mini-goal: 5K walk or run
Mini-goal: 24.9 BMI (about 136 lb)
Mini-goal: half-marathon walk or run
GOAL: 23 BMI (about 125 pounds), fit and active
7/19/14 1:39 P

I've heard a lot of things about planking. Is the proper technique basically a pushup?

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,847
7/19/14 12:55 A

Planks are an excellent exercise that works a wide range of core muscles, including the back. Demo at

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
SP_COACH_DENISE Posts: 35,395
7/18/14 9:43 P

I would recommend using the Workout Generator in the Fitness section of the Articles & Videos tab:
. You can enter the beginner option, that you want core exercises and which equipment you have available and it will give you a workout that fits that criteria.

Coach Denise

"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." - Michael Jordan

Searching for a buddy? Try using the search feature in the SparkPages section.
7/18/14 9:27 P

I have decided to start doing exercises to strengthen my core muscles to see if it will help with my back problems. Does anyone have a good starting place for a noob like me? I have NEVER been able to do crunches, so needless to say, my core muscles are horrible lol

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