Koya Webb is known as a “transformational specialist” for good reasons. As a celebrity trainer, she blends yoga, holistic self-care, and strength training into a fun and functional package. Believing that all health flows from self-love, she created the Get Loved Up program, which helps clients practice daily self-care. She spoke with us about how women can show extra love to that most critical part of their physiques: their cores.
What’s the first thing women should understand about their cores?
The core is more than your abs. It’s all the muscles around your midsection that act as a corset, giving your entire body power, stability, and good posture. So conditioning your core involves total body workouts that use multiple muscles at the same time.
How do you know if you have a weak core?
The truth is that we all have strong cores from birth, we just need to work on making them stronger. You know you’re doing a good job of building that core strength if you can hold a plank for a full minute or if you have good, straight posture.
Could you describe how to perform your favourite easy moves for core conditioning?
The 100s workout is my go-to for core conditioning. You start by doing 10 abdominal crunches, then ten side oblique crunches for each side, and then ten lower leg lifts for each leg. Gradually, you can increase the number of repetitions in each set until you’re doing 100 of each!
(For video instruction, go to vistamagazine.ca!)
What about pelvic floor stuff…are people getting it all wrong?
Many people don’t understand that the pelvic floor—the layer of muscles covering the bottom of your pelvis—is a crucial part of a strong, healthy core. You can strengthen yours by squeezing like you would to stop yourself from peeing, 10 to 15 times a day.
Note: If you feel like you might have pelvic floor imbalances such as weakness or tightness, try booking an appointment with pelvic floor specialist.
What are the yoga postures you recommend for addressing lower back weakness and pain? The Superwoman! Lie on your stomach and then raise your chest, arms, and legs straight out in front and behind you, while breathing in, just as if you were Superwoman flying through the air. Breathe out and release your arms, chest, and legs back to the floor. I’ve had back injuries in the past and between doing the 100s workout and the Superwoman pose, I’ve been able to heal myself completely.
It’s being said that sitting is the new smoking, but why?
Over time, sitting weakens your core and tightens up your hamstrings and hip flexors, pulling your body out of alignment and giving you all sorts of pains and injuries. When you sit, you’re simply not engaging certain muscles the way you would when you stand or walk. I recommend that if you need to sit for longer than an hour at your desk or in a car, take breaks every hour to stretch. You’ll notice the difference.