We are excited to start a new core training challenge for the month of August! The challenge will take place every other day! Timing will be spontaneous.
Core Training—It’s Not Just About Abs!
Most people think about a six-pack of abs or their tummy when it comes to core training. But, the core extends far beyond your abs, including everything besides your arms and legs. In fact, “The Core” actually includes 29 muscles in the mid and lower back, pelvic floor, buttocks and hips. Together, they act as the foundation for all of the body’s movements and they need to be developed together as part of a well-rounded exercise program.
However, aside from the occasional sit-up, pushup, and plank, core exercises are often neglected. Not with Excy!
Excy Makes Core Training More Accessible
During the Excy Core Training Challenge, we will demonstrate multiple positions that range from very easy, to extremely challenging. These exercises will range from isometric movements, to resistance training, to body weight exercises. All while pedaling, cranking, or using torque rotational exercises with your arms or legs.
We designed Excy to be for everybody and every body, so we will show the progression in core training complexity for each position by starting easy and then getting more difficult. Please watch all setup tutorial videos to ensure proper technique and always consult a doctor before starting a new routine. It’s important to first create a foundation for a stable core, so start easy!
Engaging Your Core During the Challenge
Core engagement movements will vary during the challenge based on the exercise we will be demonstrating. But in general, here are a few ways to turn on the core muscles while standing, sitting, and lying down.
The Pelvic Floor
As part of our core training challenge, we invite you to learn how to properly do a Kegel exercise and to hold it lightly. By lightly, try holding a Kegel at a level of 10, then a level of 5, and then at a level of 2. During the core training exercises, focus on being at level two for short periods of time. Contracting the pelvic floor muscles can help you maximize your abdominal contraction, and may additionally build strength in the pelvic floor at the same time. Think Kegel exercises are just for women? Think again. We invite you men to join in with light Kegels during the core training challenge too.
Day 1: Core Training Exercise While Lying Down!
You can see this positions proper setup here. This position can be done on the floor, in a bed, or on a physical therapy table.
Day 2: Core Training Squat-and-Cycle with Arms
You can see this positions proper setup here. Optimal Pin Placement: Top hole. Stand with feet apart, directly under your hips, and lower yourself into a squatted position. Knees shouldn’t extend beyond toes. Keep back flat, spine in neutral position. Keep shoulders over the pedal axis.
Day 3: Hand Pedaling Chair Exercise
Great cardio and strength training for everybody, but cherry on top for those with lower extremity injury or when you need a non-weight bearing exercise! See setup here.
Day 4: Semi-Recumbent Exercise Bike
Excy can be used as a recumbent bike and semi-recumbent bike using any chair. This position focuses on the semi-recumbent bike position and incorporates core training and upper body conditioning. See setup here.
Day 5: Core Training in the Rowing and Hand Cycling Position
Day 6: Exercise Ball Cycling and Upper Body Isometric Exercises for Core Training
Using the exercise ball while pedaling Excy is the ultimate stabilization exercise for placing emphasis on your core, while also pedaling your legs. This workout requires balance, core strength, and will cognitively challenge you with prompting you to pedal forwards and backwards. In addition, it’s a great position to add upper body isometric exercises, which also engage the core. See the setup here.
Day 7: Core Training Excy “Pretzel”
Day 8: Core Training with the Excy Plank
This is a great core training exercise for a quick break or a circuit. Make sure not to use the pin in this position. Place Excy on the floor and attach the Keeper. Get in plank position with hands on the pedals and toes on the Keeper. Keep shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in line. Contract abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor muscles, keep back straight, and eyes looking forward. See the setup here!
Day 9: Exercise While Lying Down and Cycling
This position is great for those who need to exercise while lying down and can be done from a bed, a bench, or an exercise ball. Optimal Pin Placement for the lying down exercise position: Bottom hole (will vary). Place Keeper on the side edge of the bed and connect Excy. Lie back on the bed/Keeper and pedal with your feet. Use stomach and back muscles to stabilize the trunk, pelvis, and to keep hips facing forward. See setup here.
Day 10: Sit-n-Cycle in a High Chair
This position is great from a high chair and can be used for rehabilitation, exercise and strength training. Sit up tall for more core engagement and add bands for a total body workout. Quick Tip: Optimal Pin Placement: No pin (will vary for the bedside cycle or chair cycling positions). Place Excy on the floor in front of a chair, a PT table, or bedside. Align your body to be centered with the Excy system. Push down on the front side of the pedal motion to prevent scooting. Add hand weights for whole body. See setup here.
Day 11: Single-Leg Balance and Core Training
Optimal pin placement: Top or middle hole (will vary). Lie Keeper on the floor and connect Excy. Hold pedals firmly with hands, bend both knees to a 90 degree angle, lift one leg up straight behind you and squeeze your glutes at the top of the motion. Keep pelvis straight. See setup here.
Day 12: Core Training in the Step Cycle and Unicycle Position
Quick tip: No pin for this exercise. Always hold onto something sturdy for stability. During this workout, polls were used from Urban Poling. When standing on pedals, slightly bend knees 5-10 degrees to get into athletic position. Rock pedals back and forth to find center of balance. Focus on smooth motions, keep core engaged. See setup here.
Day 13: Hand Cycling on a Table While Standing
Optimal Pin Placement: Top hole. Stand tall, focus on good posture, keep chin up, back straight, shoulders back, and torso strong. Add squats, calf raises. jumping jacks, speed skates, and one-legged balance exercises for added complexity. See the setup here.
Day 14: TRX Step Cycle and Unicycle Workout
Important tip: No pin for this exercise. Always hold onto something sturdy for stability. When standing on pedals, slightly bend knees 5-10 degrees to get into athletic position. Rock pedals back and forth to find center of balance. Focus on smooth motions, keep core engaged.