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My workout to build core muscles

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  • My workout to build core muscles

    I'll post what I learn here, just in case someone needs ideas for a workout.
    I copied and pasted from the original thread I had responded in because I don't want to hijack it.

    I recently started working with a personal trainer, because as much as I want nice looking abs, it's more important that they be functional. With the initial consultation, I told him I wanted to build all my core muscles so that my posture improved.

    Jimi, I'm not sure what level you are, but here are some things that have already started to show improvement for me.

    I start off with push-ups. I never in my life thought that push-ups would give my abs a work out. When I'm pushing up, I pull my abs in, so that it's almost as if my belly button is being up towards my back. I also make sure I'm not shrugging as I'm pushing up and that I squeeze my shoulder blades together. Such a good workout, I'm telling you. I've been doing push ups for a long time, but apparently, I've been doing them wrong.

    Next, I form what is called a plank. I rest on my elbows, still lying on my stomach, but I push up using my forearms and squeezing in my abs. What I'm trying to do is flatten my back by once again bringing my belly button in (by crunching my abs) and holding for a minute. My abs totally feel the burn.

    I switch over, and do crunches, but instead of trying to do full sit ups, I activate my abs by trying to push my belly button into the floor and then lifting up as much as I can, not using my neck, but by squeezing my abs.

    In between those sets, I use a resistence rope. Have someone either stand in front of you, or you can tie the rope securely to something stable in front of you. Using one hand, pull the rope, using your shoulder blade, not your arm, backwards to your side, until your elbow is parallel to your side, all the while crunching your abs. I've been told it's important to work out surrounding muscles to balance things out. That's the only way you're going to have better posture.

    I'm starting to forget the order at this point, but I think I do lat pull downs next. I follow that up with taking a light weight with both hands over my head and lowering behind my head (there's a technical term for it, but I got law on my mind) and lifting it repetitively and crunching my abs. I alternate between the two exercises as with all the others previously mentioned.

    Next up is bicep curls, where you just take a weight in each hand and um, curl. Keep your abs tight while doing this also.

    Second to last is working with a medicine ball. I hold it in front of me and then turn to one side, all the while holding it in front of me. Then I return to the centre, and then turn to the other side. This is going to work out your obliques. The further you hold it out in front of you, the harder your obliques are gonna work, the better your balance will be.

    I finish up with this bar that has sand in it so it's got weight that I grasp in front of me and pull out towards my side. The exercise itself is called a shoulder press.

    Some of these exercises might seem irrelevent, but they all work together to balance and build your core muscles. Then I would suggest working towards appearence (a six pack, or whatever you're working towards). Sure, you can build up your abs to look nice, but it's kinda pointless if they aren't functional. I'll take strength over esthetics any day.

    I'll post more core building exercises as I come along them.

    Good luck

  • #2
    Workout: Week 3

    It hurts to type right now, but I thought I'd add some other exercises I picked up today.

    I had mentioned earlier that I was being re-taught how to do efficient push ups. My trainer now has me clutching two barbel weights on the ground while doing my push ups, instead of having my hands flat on the ground. This forces me to activate whatever core muscles I do have so that I can keep the weights from rolling apart.

    He's also modified the plank so that instead of pushing off the ground, I'm pushing off an instability ball, which again, activates my core muscles.

    I was also introduced to an exercise (I forget the name) where I grip cables on each side of me and pull them down towards my body. Apparently it works my shoulders.

    He also had me lie on a raised board, and do flies so that my shoulders are being targeted even more. I also do a set known as skull crushers where I I lie on my back, with my arms pointed straight up, gripping weights in each hand, and then bending from the elbow, I lower the weights towards my face, and then back up. All of these exercises require me to crunch my abs while doing them in order to maintain good posture.


    • #3
      Sounds intense.

      Are you taking before and after shots?'s worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Steven Edwards
        Sounds intense.

        Are you taking before and after shots?
        Actually Steven, I believe video would be more helpful
        to those of us equally concerned about her er..uh our abs.

        And the truth shall set you free.


        • #5
          SOunds like a great work out plan, are you complete or incomplete?
          C7/C8, T1 incomplete;

          For stalkers convenience:


          My drawings:


          • #6
            Oooohhhh, Kiran, I'm gonna try. Thanks tons! I know you don't have lots of time so I really appreciate this.

            P.S. You do these and I bet that 6-pack will follow!
            Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?


            • #7
              Kiran don't forget the cardio fitness pre-op its really really important. Trust me.


              • #8
                Kiran where/what therapy program/facility do you go to?

                Thank you.
                My GoPro videos:


                • #9
                  For this sort of stuff is it better to get a personal trainer that has worked with SCI and is formiliar with that stuff or does it really matter?


                  • #10
                    Anyone interested in a trainer. My trainer has a video. I am not sure of the content. I have spinal cord injury and I work with him twice a week. his Site is He has made some really good improvements in my strenghth. He is also a nutritional coach. I live in upstate ny, near syracuse. Check out his sight.


                    • #11
                      Hi, sorry I haven't been back to this thread for a while.

                      First off, I'm complete, but somehow have managed to strengthen muscles below my injury level.

                      Secondly, no before or after pictures except for me, sorry Steven. Hee hee.

                      I found my personal trainer by doing some research. Called or emailed a number of different gyms, explained my situation and what I was looking for and finally managed to track down a personal trainer with a BSc, who had also worked with individuals with a spinal cord injury. He's great (cute too, lol), and is very aware of what I am capable of doing. There has been the odd occasion where he asks me to squeeze my glutes and I turn and look at him and he realizes that as much as I'd love to do that, I can't.

                      He works at a regular gym, and I use the equipment at the facility. I find by transferring onto the equipment instead of sitting in my chair forces me to work on my balance and further strengthen my core muscles.

                      I realize this isn't an option for every one. When I used to live on the mainland, I would access the local rehab centre's gym, which was fully wheelchair accessible. The only problem was that although it was supervised, the supervision was sporatic, and it was students looking for extra credits while in univsersity, so they weren't as familiar with SCi. Also, I only had a limited number of exercises I did and didn't really have any one to point me in the right direction.

                      I'm still working with Week 3 exercises right now, but when I learn something new, I'll post it here.