Core Fusion – these moves I must master!

Alright, so I’m only into day #2 of the Core Fusion Challenge and I’m already ticking off in my head the moves that I am bound and determined to master by the end of this month.

Well…that’s a bit of a stretch, let me rephrase that. There are a few moves I want to do well, do properly, do strongly. Right now I’m the modification queen on a few of these guys, namely:

Round back/flat back series – this is all about tightening that core, tucking the hips in and moving just your legs in a series of tapping moves while your back is flat against the wall, knees bent/extended. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. I can barely get my feet off the ground in this move, let alone off the ground for the entire sequence which Fred and Elisabeth say to “work towards over time.” Well…this is definitely a series I’d like to work towards, rather than flailing about meekly like I am now. Good thing there’s no before/after shot here, hehe.

<this isn’t a great pic but it’s the best I could find that sort of shows the move I’m describing above>

The infamous Core Fusion ab curl – THIS is one that I am promising to myself that I will not just do better, but I’ll master. This is basically one curl that you hold steadily for a period of time (that seems endless but is probably about 6-8 mins total), doing various moves to work the core and oblique muscles. You might tap your fists in front of you while in the curl or twist to one side and hold the curl to work the obliques. Or you might do the “hundred” flutter of your arms while holding the curl. Right now, I can hold that curl but I have a hard time doing all the extra stuff. But that’s ok. For now, I’m here to strengthen that core and once I feel confident, I’ll start adding in the “hundred” and all of the other moves as my ab curl technique improve.

BUT, I’d be lying if I denied that this is probably the most frustrating move for me (especially during Pilates Plus this morning) — because it’s VERY hard for me and reminds me just how weak I’ve let my core become. Which I hate. Feels like total failure and is frustrating with a capital T!!

The plank/push-up/jump-back series in Core Fusion boot camp – this is kind of three moves in one that I’d like to master. First up – the plank is something that I’ve always strived to do better but invariably given up on in the end. NO MORE giving up for me. I will hold that plank for a minute or more by the end of this month. That is my promise to myself.

But with that, comes the jump-back series in Boot Camp that goes something like this: Start with feet hip width apart, with a playground ball in hand (note to self: a medicine ball is not a good substitute for a playground ball, WAY TOO HEAVY!), lift the ball over head, bend knees, bring ball to knees and then to floor, jump back into a plank with hands on the ball in front of you. Repeat this series five times. And then do push-ups on either side of the ball (with one hand on the ball as shown in the pic).

Um yeah. This is a messy one. I want to not only strengthen that plank move but be able to move from that jump-back into push-ups on my toes, not my knees. I realize this is a tall order but I really, REALLY want to get there. If I can at least get that plank under control and get those push-ups in shape even if not all are done on the toes, I’ll be a happy camper.

Ok, so I might have way too many a few more goals than I thought going into this challenge. πŸ˜‰ But as you can see, just two days in and I’m already excited to push myself harder and farther. This is huge for me, the self-professed pilates/yoga/core hater, I must say.

Day #2 – done and done. I’m ready for day #3, bring it on πŸ˜‰

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32 thoughts on “Core Fusion – these moves I must master!

    • I know, I had a hard time finding good images…maybe I can find some youtube video snippets to include in the next round. I’d demonstrate them myself buuut that might be a little embarrassing πŸ˜‰

    • They are!! I’m excited to see how they feel by the end of this month but for now, trying to put my patience pants on and take it one day at a time. Not easy for someone like me πŸ˜‰

  1. Great recap sis! And I totally agree with all of them (hey, leave some for me to blog on – lol) especially Boot Camp. That is SO TOUGH. I was drenched this morning!

  2. The round back, flat back is a killer! When I watched the DVD the first time through (before I actually did it), I thought to myself that the flat back thing looked like a piece of cake. Then I tried it. Wrong!!! I am getting better at it, but I still haven’t “mastered” it by any stretch of the imagination. Something I’m working toward. That’s the great thing about these work outs; you continue to get better and see improvement, and they continue to be challenging because as you improve you can do more, i.e., straight leg push ups (still not there yet either, but getting much closer). Since I’ve been doing the DVDs regularly for a little over 2 months I’ve greatly improved my ability and strength on many of the moves, especially being ablle to pump my arms and not hold on during the curve (now on the obliques that’s another matter–better there too, but I usually have to hang on before the end of the work). Don’t be too hard on yourself or get frustrated if you don’t achieve all of your goals. Celebrate your improvements and know that every time you do these workouts you’ll be stronger and be able to do more. Like Fred says, the key is doing the workouts correctly, and if it means I can’t get my legs off the ground more than a couple of times during the flat back (or at all when I first started), so be it. I find the demonstrable progress very motivating, and I think you will too. One thing for sure–I wasn’t nearly as strong or “in shape” as I thought I was before I started doing these workouts. Keep up the good work!

    • I’ve been doing Core Fusion regularly for over a year and I can only get my legs off the floor in flat back when we do the series with bent knees. All the straight-leg moves I still do in the floor — as long as you are engaging your core the ENTIRE TIME, you are getting the work no matter where your legs are. I promise.

      Also, it took me a little over a month to get both legs straight up in round back — once I got there, I felt amazing! Such a huge accomplishment to see my flexibility improve so much in such a short time.

      • Ok, THIS is eye-opening. Not that I thought I’d get those legs off the floor at the end of this month (I’m over-eager but not THAT over-eager), it’s good to know that this one is quite the progression (flat back/round back). I would, however, LOVE to gain some flexibility in my hamstrings which is where I am the LEAST flexible right now (thanks to running!)…so if I can get those legs straight up in round back after a few months of this, I’d be thrilled.

        I need to take each goal on it’s own vs. trying to bite them all off at once…whoops. Over-eager again over here! πŸ˜‰

    • I think that’s one of the big eye-openers for me in that regard – that I am VERY weak/out of shape as it relates specifically to flexibility and a strong core. The leg moves in all of the CF workouts (and the arm moves for that matter), I can do with no problem. Those are my strong points from running, weight training, etc. This is making it VERY clear to me that I just can’t ignore the core any longer and I’m SO GLAD I decided to do this challenge for that very reason. It’s time.

  3. You will definitely do a plank for over a minute by the end of this month — that is one of the easiest moves to see improvements on if you stick with it, I promise! I used to always collapse during the plank and in less than a month I was holding it the entire time.

    As for the jumpbacks, in Core Fusion Sport we do all of those using the medicine ball — not a playground ball! I use a 6 lb medicine ball, not sure what yours is. The jumpbacks are my favorite part of that class though, you will get better, they are awesome!

    • Ah you are making me feel so much better! I’d LOVE to rock the plank by month’s end…for some reason that just screams “strong core” to me and I want it, sooo bad!

      My medicine ball is 10 lbs which is just too heavy for the jump-backs, I am going to hit the store to get a lighter one for the next time I do boot camp. I really LOVED that workout too, though. It works you in such a different way than the others do.

      • In the meantime, you can use a small–2-3 lb–handweight for the jumpbacks and chair moves. Just leave the weight on the floor in the middle on the 3 count before you jump back. That’s what I do, and for the pushups, I use my too heavy 8 lb medicine ball.

      • DD – That’s exactlywhat I did this time, used hand weights instead!

        Dori – I know…the 10 lb-er is a little aggressive. Must get to the store for a lighter version before I give that workout a shot again. HA!

  4. Wow roll on day 3, those Core Fusion workouts sound tough. I really need to master the plank too. I find when I do it as much as I stick in my stomach, my stomach hangs, I can’t do anything about it, my gut just falls and no amount of holding in my stomach works. I wonder if my gut stomach will ever lie straight when I try to hold it in. It’s the same when I do push up and when I try to hold my core, my stomach hangs, nice or what. Good luck with day 3.

    • That’s the hardest part – tucking those abs up and in during plank and push-up work. It’s infuriating how hard it is but if you think about it, it’s truly a total body move so no wonder it’s harder than usual. But still. I just want to fast-forward to when these all get a wee bit more manageable. Patience pants, where are they??

    • Yes, QUITE the Type-A-er and huge on setting goals. I think some of my goals this time around may take longer than a month but I’m ok with that, as long as I get there eventually.

  5. Cripes, I had no idea this was this hard core! (Pun not intended. Well, a bit intended..) Some of that stuff I would need explaining several times I think! The plank/pushup/jump back series sounds especially tough.

    Oh, and have you ever tried standing against a wall with your feet a few inches away from it, and then lifting one leg. Something else that *sounds* really easy, but is actually really freakin hard!

    Good luck. See you in 28 days.. πŸ˜‰

  6. What a challenge! I searched for CF near me and found nothing…disappointing! I want to try this so badly. I think it would truly challenge my body in a new way. On March 27th, I’m all about new challenges. I’m thinking Pilates/yoga/Core Fusion may play a big role.

    • You should totally try the DVDs! They aren’t quite the same as the class experience but close enough! So excited this has inspired you post-marathon training, of course πŸ˜‰

  7. Those plank pushups are some of my favorite moves, ever! We do this pretty regularly in one of my kwando classes, and did them in my old BOSU class, subbing the bosu for the ball. Talk about a killer workout!

  8. Gosh, those sound INTENSE!!! I would seriously have trouble with the flat back exercise….my hams are so tight, I have trouble sitting even straight against a wall. πŸ™‚ I KNOW you are going to get stronger in these exercises and can’t wait to hear more about it!!

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