Build Your Core With Chi Walking

Use Your Chair Wisely

When you're sitting in a chair, sit only on the front half of the chair seat and don't use the chair back to support your upper body. You can begin by doing it once an hour for five minutes and then increase the amount of time over a period of weeks.

More: 4 Ways to Build Technique and Form

Do the Butt Walk

Sit on the floor with your legs together and extended straight out in front of you. Hold your upper body posture straight as an arrow. Cross your arms and place your hands on your opposite shoulders. Flex your ankles so you that your toes are pointing straight up into the air. Now, scoot forward on your sitz bones by rotating your pelvis, keeping your legs straight. Take 10 "steps" while sliding your legs forward (without lifting your legs at all). Once you've done 10 forward, do 10 back.

More: 5 Foot Exercises to Improve Your Form

Leg Lifts

Lie on the floor flat on your back with legs extended and arms by your side, palms down. Keep your toes pointed to the ceiling. Slowly raise your head off the floor and tuck your chin down. Your shoulders should be slightly elevated. Then, raise both legs straight up as high as they'll go so you're bent at the hips. Hold this for 10 seconds, release and repeat several times.

As you practice these exercises and begin engaging your core during your walks, you'll most likely experience soreness in your abdominals the next day. This is a good sign. By relaxing your legs, you decrease the build-up of lactic acid in those muscles, which means little to no recovery time, and you can start off every walk with fresh legs, relying on strong core muscles instead.

The beauty of learning to engage your core is that you move more effectively, and also begin living from a stable and centered feeling in your body. As you begin to feel more centered, you'll be able to make adjustments when your movement feels tiring and inefficient. Your walking will take on a whole new flavor because you'll be exercising with a heightened level of awareness. A strong core gives you the ability to clearly direct yourself in many ways, to the finish line and beyond.

More: Train for a 5K Walk in 6 Weeks

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