Restore: The Core program
The Plan: Level 2
Are you ready to take your stability, and strength up to another, higher level?!
Level 2 is weeks 4 through 7 of your 60-day journey to Restore Your Core!
As you move into Level 2, there will be a natural inclination to forget about the work you did in Level 1. It’s almost to be expected. I mean, we’re thinking progress – progress – progress, right? Always moving ahead. More challenging skills, more movements which create a little burn, etc.
Well, I hope you don’t forget Level 1. In fact, I’ll say it straight:
DON’T – FORGET. Don’t lose sight of the fact that everything you learned then needs to continue to be applied moving forward.
And here’s why: The training process is never linear. There will always be an ebb and flow to the journey. Some days you’ll feel like you got it mastered – other days you’ll feel like you’ve never ever learned it.
That’s just how it goes. It’s normal.
So, scaling back on occasion to revisit some of the earlier learned skills is an essential part of growth and progress. Remember that movement quality is a moving target.
With that being said…
I recommend you spend at least FOUR weeks working on mastery of Level 2. In fact, I’ll say this right up front:
Level 2 is truly the training level at which you will get the majority of the benefits of this course.
In Level 1, you learn the basic skills that allow you to get to Level 2 successfully. Skip over anything in Level 1 and you’ll surely struggle in Level 2.
In Level 3, you’re simply progressing the skills you developed in Level 2. To some degree, they’re like frosting on the cake.
The cake is Level 1, and especially, Level 2.
Think about it. Focus on the cake. 😊The frosting tastes good for a short time but it doesn’t last.
Level 2 is the “meat” – it’s the heart and soul of this course.
Several of the movements in Level 2 will become those that you will do for the rest of your life. They’ll form the foundation of movements you go back to over and over as part of your dynamic warm-up, or as an assessment of how you’re moving on any particular day.
The Level 2 movements are HARD to do well, especially the Half Front Plank with Reach and Monster Walk. These two are a bear! Take your time, practice mindfully, and understand WHY you are doing them. That’s part of the process. Learn WHY.
As part of your dynamic warm-up:
Many of these exercises, especially the Vertical Quadraped weight transfer and Half Front Plank with Reach, can be an excellent part of any dynamic warm-up you do for running, strength training, or any OTHER activity. Why? They help engage the core and trunk, get things integrated in the right way, and are dynamic – so they’re good for preparing your body for even MORE dynamic activities (like running). With the “VQ” you get the added benefit that it challenges single-leg balance.
(NOTE: The Moving Plank Series which is in Level 3 is an IDEAL series to include as part of a dynamic running warm-up).
Re-watch the instructional videos frequently.
Use your mirror.
Video yourself. See if you can correctly critique yourself.
Make immediate corrections where you see them and practice the new way of doing it. It’s the re-work that matters the most anyway, yes?
Here are some specific scheduling TIPS for each movement in Level 2:
Half Front Plank with a Reach: This is a true cornerstone exercise that you’ll be doing for the rest of your life. Few movements train and groove core stability quite like this one does. Practice it often and make your goal to do it 100% correctly at whatever level you’re at. This ebbs and flows a lot – a true “moving target.” Be relentless.
Monster Walk: This is a super tricky exercise. A mirror and frequent mindful practice are a must. Remember, this IS a stability exercise. It’s brain training. Hit it often and with an eye toward form. Once that’s locked in, load it with additional resistance from the band. Form first!
Posterior Plank: A little goes a long way. It’s fatiguing, especially when combined with other planking movements as well as other training for the hip and trunk. Err on the side of caution.
Vertical Quadraped (moderate weight): The transfer can be practiced frequently. The “hold” is more fatiguing and will need a bit of rest between sessions. Every 3rd day for the hold is smart. The transfer portion can be an ideal part of your dynamic warm up for other activities, including and especially running. *Pay close attention to asymmetry from one side to the other. Work the weaker pattern.
The Crab (including arm movement): It’s all about stability. Brain training. In a very real way, think of this as an upside-down version of the Half Front Plank with Reach. Approach it the same way. Form first!
The Clock: Again, stability first and foremost. Challenge yourself frequently. When form deteriorates, stop. Re-set. Try again. At some point you’ll be too tired to do this well. Leave it and move on. That might happen after 1 minute, 2 minutes, or even 45 seconds. The point? Practice moving well, not struggling. Quality over quantity every time.