Beginners Guide to LesMills CORE
If I told you to join me and take LesMills Core, you may think “nah. I don’t want to do crunches for 30 minutes, that is boring.” However, what if I told you that in most releases we do maybe 8-16 crunches in the first track and that is ALL. Too many people think “core” is synonymous with rectus abdominis when in reality your “core” consists of your entire trunk. In addition to your rectus abdominis LesMills Core targets your internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, sling muscles of the lower back, shoulders, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus handled resistance band and sometimes a light weight. The better way to look at it is your “posture muscles”, everything which helps you stand tall and support your spine in everyday movements.
So how about I break it all down for you. In LesMills Core we have 6 tracks. This means 6 songs and each is focused on a muscle group or movement pattern. Each track is similar in each of the quarterly releases, but the movement patterns and music change regularly which helps to constantly challenge your body and keep your body guessing. In just 30 minutes you will “improve balance, assist injury prevention, and become better at everything you do”.1
When you arrive for class, your instructor will tell you the specific equipment needed for that class. Most classes will use a mat, handled resistance band, and 1-2 small weight plates. It is really important to know that this class can be modified for nearly all fitness levels. Most movements offer at least 2 or 3 intensity options so that you can tailor the class to where your current capabilities are. Now, let me take you track by track so you know what to expect when you come to class.
Track 1. The first track is designed to recruit the muscles of the rectus abdominis, obliques and glutes. We spend time setting up the core “brace” and breathing and also work lower to more moderate options to warm up the muscles and get the basic feel of class.
Track 2. This track could almost be called the “hover track”. The exercises vary slightly from release to release, but for the most part we alternate between forearm hovers and supine exercises which involve extending legs or arms from the torso. The concept of exercises of this nature is that you are moving your limbs away from your body which causes your core to turn on in order to protect your spine. This brace action is something we want to involve in the whole rest of class so we start early. The science behind the hover? Well when you are holding up your whole body, we are able to target the rectus abdominis, obliques and glutes. Core takes this a step farther and often integrates an arm or leg extension to get the full benefits of this movement. LesMills has done quite a bit of research on the benefits of planks and hovers over crunches.
Track 3. This track feels like relief at first, we get to stand up for the first time in 8 or 9 minutes and we are finally no longer hovering! Ha. Most often in track 3 we use the handled resistance band and sometimes use a medium weight plate. Occasionally we use only the plate. The movements are usually all standing. We utilize a squat with a wood chop or a circular motion. These lateral movements use the muscles in the torso, especially your rectus abdominis and shoulders and also your glutes. In some cases you will even notice a little spike of your heart rate in this track.
Track 4. I would venture to say that this track is the biggest calorie burner. Our target in track 4 is the gluteus medius. We utilize the handled resistance band either wrapped around the feet, handles on hips… or we wrap the band around the thighs. Movements like kick backs, band walks, clam shells, fire hydrants all target a massive burn from our glutes. Because the band gives us resistance both in the eccentric and concentric directions and we are better able to target the muscles and keep tension and control all through the entire movement.
Track 5: Obliques! This track primarily targets our obliques, the muscles that line the outsides of our mid trunk. You will often see leg drops, side hovers and hip lifts in this track.
Track 6. This track focuses on our back muscles. You will utilize exercises like horse stance and prone leg and arm lifts along with some shoulder and lat exercise to round out the workout. This track will leave you feeling taller and stronger as you sit or stand throughout the day.
I find that most people see great results and progress with this class after just a couple weeks. I always recommend people try and take it 2-3 times a week if possible for the maximum benefit. If you haven’t yet tried this amazing class, sign up today!
If you need a free class pass or have any additional questions, just reach out, I am always here to help! Sarah@thegymmilford.com
Author: Sarah Mandeville
Fitness Manager, The Gym Milford
NASM-Youth Exercise Specialist
LesMills Certified Instructor: BodyFlow, BodyPump, BodyCombat, Core, RPM, Sprint.
TRX Certified Instructor