Have you ever heard the saying, “Never take advice from a bunny”? Neither have we. Which is why we’re proud to bring you the column “Ask a Rabbit” (as transcribed by Biz Stamm).
Hey there, Horse Nation! I was finally able to pin down my mother to demonstrate some lower back/core strengthening exercises. She said she was busy riding her horse and training for this marathon thing she keeps talking about, but doesn’t she know she needs a strong back for both of those activities!?
So last time we talked about different stretches to keep your back limber and your spine in alignment. This week we’re going to do some exercises to keep your back strong.
First up is the airplane. This deceptively simple exercise is quite hard to do, but totally worth the effort. It strengthens your abs, back, hamstrings and quads. Plus it’s great for improving your overall balance. Stand up straight , holding your arms out to the side. Slowly lift your left leg and bring your upper body forward. Remember to keep your back flat and relaxed. Hold for 10-30 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
The next exercise is called the bridge. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Press your weight into your feet and lift your hips off of the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat. As you can see, the cats have gotten jealous of my A-list celebrity status and are trying to steal the limelight. Gus hasn’t quite figured out which end to point at the camera yet. I could help him, but this is much more entertaining.
The last exercise we’re going to be doing is a trunk extension. Lie on your stomach and place your hands on the back of your head. By contracting your lower back, raise your chest off the floor and then slowly lower is back down. Repeat 10-20 times.
That’s it folks. For a healthy back, replace one of your normal workouts each week with my super-awesome back workout and you’ll be on your way to better back health.
If you have any fitness questions you’d like answered, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Portland Marathon is in less than week away and Biz still needs your generous donations! All money goes directly to care for at-risk mustangs at Ever After Mustang Rescue. Donate here.
Biz writes of her charity choice:
Signing up for races has proven to be a great motivator, and now that I have a couple of half-marathons under my belt, I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and sign up for a full marathon. So I did. This October, I will be running the Portland Marathon. Training for this grueling 26.2 mile race is going to require some SERIOUS motivation. More than my measly entrance fee can muster, so I found a way to make my completion of the race carry a bit more weight. I decided to run the race for charity, with the transfer of money raised to my charity of choice contingent on my completion of the race.
Picking a charity was easy. While I was in college, I worked for Ever After Mustang Rescue, and saw first hand what great work they do. All of the volunteers are extremely hard-working, and it is my honor to do whatever I can to aid them in their noble endeavor. I set up a website to collect donations through Firstgiving.com, a site specifically designed to help runners achieve their non-profit, fundraising goals.
I have found this motivational strategy to be incredibly effective (“you better go for a run or little Reno might not get his worming paste!”), and it’s one that I highly recommend to all of you. Not only does it encourage you to do something good for your own health, it allows you to get behind a cause in which you really believe. So c’mon. Let’s get out there and get running