/ December 16, 2021

9 Ways to Reinforce Functional Core Strength in the Midst of the Busy Christmas Season

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Don’t let the busyness of the holiday season keep you from taking care of your body.  The Tummy Team specializes in making everyday activities meaningful and giving you tools and strategies to bring your functional core strength into everything you do.  Use this fun resource as daily reminder of how to be intentional and promote optimal alignment while creating opportunities for your core to be active and strong all season long.

C- Chest Opener Stretch: You can choose from the Jesus pose stretch with trunk rotation or incorporate the door frame stretch.  Taking a minute to open up and release your chest muscles can relieve upper back pain, postural fatigue and set your body up for neutral rib cage alignment needed for core activation.

H- Hamstring Release: One of our all time favorite stretches is the forward bend hamstring stretch.  This stretch is easy to incorporate in front of the bathroom sink, in the kitchen or at your desk.  Releasing your hamstrings at least once a day can reset your neutral pelvic alignment and improve the natural activation of your core and pelvic floor in everything you do.

R- Rolls- Specifically Single Shoulder Rolls:  Take a minute to gently roll one shoulder at a time back 3-4 times on each side.  Finish by visualizing sliding your shoulder blades into your back pockets and elongating your neck to help you relieve neck and upper back tension and reset that active upper body posture.

I- Intentional Belly Breaths:  Stop for just a minute. Place both your hands on your tummy. Take a slow inhale allowing your ribs, diaphragm and belly to gentle expand. Then exhale with a slow shhhhhh as you zip up your tummy and elongate your torso.  Repeat 2-3 times.  Exhaling and engaging the core is how you achieve the essential initial activating of your internal corset muscle. These breaths connect you to your core and calm your nervous system to help you destress.

S- Sit Tall: The Tummy Team refers to this as Active Sitting.  Start by sitting on your sit bones, not your tailbone. Supplement your lumbar area with extra lumbar support if needed. Elongate as if a cable is pulling you from the crown of your head to the sky. Let your shoulders relax and your neck lengthen.  Creating opportunities for elongated sitting posture activates and reinforces your functional/postural core strength all day.

T- Transverse Holds:  Your transverse abdominis is your internal corset muscle and your long lost best friend. Exhale, engage and elongate and then hold this core connected posture for 5-10 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.  Your transverse abdominis is designed for all day functional activation so it is not about this exercise exclusively, but a little connection here will go a long way in the rest of your daily life.

M- Meaningful Movement:  Be purposeful about how you move throughout the day.  Elongate as much as possible.  Exhale and engage on the effort of the work you need to do.  Stay grounded and focused as you squat, reach, walk, lift and bend.  All the little things add up.

A- Abdominal Massage: Most of us are fairly disconnected from our core muscles.  Taking a few minutes 1-2 times a day to perform some nurturing gentle abdominal massage can go a long way to helping restore your core.  Massage improves blood flow to the area, blood flow carries nutrients and flushes out toxins creating and environment that supports healing and normalizing the sensory feedback to this area.  It is essential to be able to feel what you are trying to heal.

S- Stand Tall:  Active Standing aligns our body and creates opportunity for your core to do what it was designed to do, all day long.  Start with placing your feet directly under your hips, toes pointed forward and weight centered through your heels. Do a mini squat and press your weight into your feet as you stand up but keep your knees soft. Hinge forward at the hips to gently release your hamstrings. Then return to upright and elongate up through the crown of your head.  Our goal is to feel grounded AND long, lean and lifted at the same time.  Use this as your reset to stand tall throughout the day.

We hope these little strategies help you feel supported as  you move through this hectic but special time of year.  Our goal at The Tummy Team is to help you feel strong and pain free for the life you were meant to live.  If you would like more information about what we do and how we can help you, check out our online programs.

Download this free resource to use as a checklist for these last 9 days leading up to Christmas.

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