NAC Blog

    #LoveYourMajorMuscles With These Upper Body Exercises



    Written by NAC fitness instructor Christina Dorner about one of her favorite workouts for her upper body muscles! Her Major Muscle: Core Edition classes are available starting Friday, February 24th.

    The core: one of the most important major muscles in our bodies.

    The major muscles that move, support and stabilize your spine are called the muscles of the core. It is incorporated in almost every movement of the human body. Believe it or not, there is so much more to working your core than to simply do an endless amount of crunches.

    What is Your Core?
    Let’s just put it this way... The core muscles are the ones which help you with all the good stuff such as standing tall, looking thinner, and having better balance. There are three sheaths of muscle in this area: the upper abs, the obliques, and the deep layer of muscle underneath which support your spine. When you work the core muscles you are also using the small muscles in your lower back called the erector spinae.  In turn, this also helps tighten your glutes (one of our other favorite muscle groups). When doing crunches, you are mainly working the front or sides of your abdominals without the benefit of incorporating other muscle groups. When you do a core exercise such as a plank, you are engaging all of these muscles and much more.  At the NAC, we train many clients with core exercises who have seen major improvements with skiing, snowboarding, tennis and many other sports. 
    Now that you are armed with this new knowledge, let’s get into some basic exercises to tighten those abs, glutes, and more!
    Forearm Plank
    Place the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders, and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. Extend your legs out behind you just until you are are the backs of your toes.  Press the backs of the toes into the floor and squeeze the front of your thighs (your quadriceps) until you feel your abdominals engage, HOLD this position for as long as you possible can and notice your time, each time you do this, try and add a few more seconds to your last time. 
    Forearm Plank- with Stability Ball
    Adding a stability ball to your plank is a great variation to the traditional forearm plank, it adds less stability, since the ball needs to be stabilized by your body.  This will work your core with more intensity and give those shoulders a little extra love!
    Side Plank
    Lie on one side, in a straight line from head to feet, resting on your forearm. Making sure your elbow is directly under your shoulder. With your abdominals gently contracted, lift your hips off the floor, maintaining this straight line.  Imagine you have your back up against a wall so you are not leaning forward. For an easier version, drop to your knees with one stacked right on top of the other  until you are able to progress to the stacked feet version.

    Join us as we #LoveYourMuscles at our Major Muscles Master Class on Saturday, February 18th at 10:30 am. Experience all of our amazing and talented instructors in one energy-packed class for 55 minutes of strength & resistance-training followed by 20 minutes of yoga.  The class will conclude with a 30-minute Heart Health #NACTalk with our Registered Dietitians. You are invited to bring wine as complimentary snacks and post workout smoothies will be served. #BetterTogether #LoveYourself #LoveYourMuscles


    This is a free event & open to your non-member friends with a $10 donation.
    What’s the next step after you have mastered these exercises? Come try my Major Muscle - Core Edition class on Friday mornings at 8:15 am or 11:15 am!  This class incorporates these moves and more within a full body workout!
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