Karena Dawn’s Favorite Core Exercises For WFH Back Pain & More

Core workouts forever. That's Karena Dawn's mantra, anyway. Why is the Chief Wellness Officer of CBD company ALTWELL and the co-founder of the super-popular Tone It Up fitness programs such a fan of core work? Because it has secret superpowers. Like relief from back pain.

That's right. Thanks to coronavirus, many of us are still on that work from home wave, and our makeshift "home office" set-ups often aren't the best for our backs. I've found my own shoulders tensing up after a long day at my kitchen table, and my lower back feeling off-kilter once I've made my way to the couch. Plus, we're stressed — and anxiety often manifests as back pain.

That's where your core comes in. It's the foundation of your body. When it's strong, you can do everything better — from lifting heavier weights at the gym to standing up straighter all day long. "Developing a stronger core can also help stave off back pain and discomfort by providing greater support to your spine," she says.

We asked Dawn to develop an equipment-free workout plan that targets your core, including the muscles in your abs, hips, lower back, and pelvic floor. Perform 12 reps of each of these moves, then repeat the whole circuit three times — resting for 60 seconds between rounds — to target every inch of your core. Happy sweating!

Plank + Kick Through

Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and body forming a straight line from head to toe. Engage your core. (Not sure how to? Pretend you're blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. That should tense up the right muscles.)

Lift your right arm and open your body to your right side, lifting your chest, as you simultaneously step your left foot across you, to your right side. Return to plank position and repeat on the other side. That's one rep. Repeat 12 times total.

Side Plank + Hip Dip 

Start in a side plank position with your left hand planted firmly on the ground and your right hand on your hip. You can stack your feet or for extra stability, you can stagger your legs, placing your top foot just in front of the bottom foot.

Lift your hips up two inches, then dip them two inches. Repeat 12 times, then switch sides.

Leg Lift

Begin lying on your back with your legs extended straight in the air, arms by your sides or under your sacrum for extra support. Engage your core to press your lower back into the floor.

Keeping your legs together and inner thighs engaged, lower your legs as far as you can without letting your lower back lift off the floor. Inhale on the way down; exhale on the way up. Repeat 12 times.

V Up

Begin seated with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you. Engaging your core, lift your feet so your shins are parallel to the ground, and reach your arms toward your ankles. This is your start position.

Next, maintaining a flat back and strong core, lean back as far as you can while keeping your core engaged and your shoulders off the ground, as you extend your legs straight. Use your abs to bring yourself back to the starting position. Repeat 12 times.


Lie on your back with your feet off the ground and your legs bent to a 90-degree angle. Gently place your hands behind your head, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.

Extend your left leg straight and twist your body to the right so that your left elbow meets your right knee. Then smoothly return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side, "cycling" your legs. That's one rep. Repeat 12 times total.

Karena Dawn’s Favorite Core Exercises For WFH Back Pain & More Karena Dawn’s Favorite Core Exercises For WFH Back Pain & More Reviewed by streakoggi on July 11, 2020 Rating: 5
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