Note: I apologize for the delay in posts. I am finally getting “centered” after being at a conference.
FITNESS FOCUS: Leg Pull Front This exercise starts by engaging the muscles of the shoulders, back, arms, and core while holding a plank position. However, this exercise adds the challenge of maintaining stability in the torso and pelvis as you lift a leg slightly off the floor. The abdominals are forced to engage when the instability is introduced. The benefits of this exercise go beyond just strengthening the shoulders, back, and core. By training our muscles to engage when we face instability, we will be prepared when our bodies face the instabilities of the day. These would include simple things like uneven sidewalks, lifting unstable and heavy items, as well as when injury forces us to use one part of our body more than the other.
Steps for Leg Pull Front:
Start on your knees. Place your hands on the floor in front of you, fingers pointing straight ahead. Keep your arms straight and your elbows unlocked. Your wrists are directly under your shoulders which are pulled back and down. With your abdominals lifted, extend your legs back so that they are straight and together. Your toes are curled under so that some weight is on the balls of your feet. (This is the Plank Position) Your ears, shoulders, hips and heels should be in one long line. Engage your abdominals to keep your body in this stable position. Don’t let the shoulders creep up toward the ears or the hips sag. This takes a lot of abdominal work…engage them by taking deep inhales and exhales, pulling the navel to spine. Lengthening through the crown of the head, keep your gaze toward the floor. Extend through the leg as you lift it off the floor, no higher than the hip. Return your foot to the mat and extend the other leg. As you extend, lift, and replace the foot back down on the mat, remember to keep lifted in the hips, shoulders back and down, hips level, and lengthened through the crown of the head. Repeat 5 times on each side.
FAITH FOCUS: Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the instability of this world. Everything from our bank accounts and bills, to our waistlines and our relationships fluctuate. The ups and downs, unexpected changes of this world make our lives a bit unstable at times. What are we to do about all of this? How can we prepare for what we cannot expect? The key is to practice engaging our CORE in Christ so that when faced with instabilities that inevitably come our way. The Bible tells us how to make sure we can withstand the unexpected things of this world:
The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. (Deuteronomy 13: 3-4)
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. (Psalm 143: 10-11)
We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds. You say, “I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly. When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. Selah (Psalm 75: 1-3)