The ‘Basic Four’ Core Training Program

The ‘Basic Four’ Core Training Program
This is a good basic exercise program for busy guys on the go who want to build a strong and healthy core and general fitness. Do the ‘Basic Four’ Core Training Program five to seven days per week. Modify the program if it is too difficult at first. Increase the repetitions and sets until you can do the entire program. Do this program at least 1 hour after getting out of bed.

Day/Workout

Monday
Curl-ups: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 1 minute between sets.
Side-bridges: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds; rest 1 minute between sets.
• Bird-dogs: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds.
Kettlebell Swings: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 2 minutes between sets.
Cardio: walk briskly with vigorous arm swing for 30-90 minutes.

Tuesday
Curl-ups: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 1 minute between sets.
Side-bridges: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds; rest 1 minute between sets.
Bird-dogs: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds.
Kettlebell Swings: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 2 minutes between sets.
Cardio: walk briskly with vigorous arm swing for 30-90 minutes.

Wednesday Rest

Thursday

Curl-ups: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 1 minute between sets.
Side-bridges: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds; rest 1 minute between sets.
Bird-dogs: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds.
Kettlebell swings: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 2 minutes between sets.
Cardio: walk briskly with vigorous arm swing for 30-90 minutes.

Friday
Curl-ups: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 1 minute between sets.
Side-bridges: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds; rest 1 minute between sets.
Bird-dogs: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds.
Kettlebell Swings: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 2 minutes between sets.
Cardio: walk briskly with vigorous arm swing for 30-90 minutes.

Saturday
Curl-ups: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 1 minute between sets.
• Side-bridges: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds; rest 1 minute between sets.
Bird-dogs: 2 sets of 10 reps (each side), holding each rep for 5 seconds.
• Kettlebell swings: 2 sets of 20 reps; rest 2 minutes between sets.
Cardio: walk briskly with vigorous arm swing for 30-90 minutes.

Sunday Rest

Exercise Descriptions

Curl-ups: Lie on your back on the floor with your right knee bent, right foot flat on the floor, and left leg extended. Place your hands across your chest. Contract your rectus abdominis (front abdominal muscle), drawing your breastbone downward. Try not to lift your neck or shoulders, and maintain a neutral spine; let the ab muscles do the work. Begin with one set of 10 reps and increase to 2 sets of 20 reps as fitness increases.

Side-bridges: Lie on your side and support your body between your forearm and knees. Hold your spine in a neutral position (normal curves)— avoid letting your back sag during the exercise. Do this exercise on your left and right sides (10 reps on your left side, followed by 10 reps on your right). Build up to 2 sets of 10 reps, holding each side-bridge for 5 seconds. Rest 1 minute between sets. As you increase fitness, support your weight between your forearm and feet.

Bird-dogs: Balance on your hands and knees. Lift your right leg and left arm, and extend your leg to the rear, and reach to the front with your arm and hold for 5 seconds. Don’t arch your back during this exercise. Return to the starting position by sweeping your knee close to the ground. Repeat this exercise with the opposite arm and leg. Build up to 2 sets of 10 repetitions, holding each bird-dog for 5 seconds. Rest 1 minute between sets.

Kettlebell Swings: Beginners should start with an 18-pound kettlebell. Begin by holding the kettlebell in both hands with palms facing toward you, in a standing position with knees bent, feet placed slightly more than shoulder-width apart, hips flexed, back straight, chest out, and head in a neutral position. Holding the kettlebell at knee level, swing the weight to a horizontal position by initiating the motion with the hips, thighs, and abs (tighten the quads, glutes, and ab muscles as hard as you can), keeping your arms straight and relaxed during the movement. Let the weight swing back between your legs in a ‘football hiking’ motion, and then repeat the exercise. During the movement, hinge at the hips and not at the spine.

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