Tag Archives: core strength

Hollow Holds for Core

Hollow Holds for Core

Hollow holds for core are one of the best exercises you can do to protect your spine. Check out this video for a demonstration:

A good test of core strength is if you can hold this position for one minute. Like I stated in the video, if you cannot hold this for one minute, take your time building up to it. 20 second holds will quickly turn into 40 second holds. One minute will not be far behind.

You will notice while you do this exercise, your lower back will want to come off of the ground. Fight that urge as best as you can. This exercise gets its benefit from you keeping your lower back firmly planted into the ground. When done properly you will feel you whole body shaking and that is good. The shaking is your muscles becoming stronger. If you feel pain or discomfort in your lower back while you do this exercise, please stop and discuss with me during your next chiropractic appointment.

Injury Proof

The benefits of a strong core are numerous. A strong core not only helps you look good for bathing suit season, but it also helps to create better posture, have less pain, and prevent future injury. Many of the injuries I see in my chiropractic office here in Chicago are because of weak core musculature.

The core is much more than just the abdomen muscles. The core is truly the integration of the body as a whole. How your body is all tied together. The core helps connect the upper body to the lower body so it can all work in unison. A strong united body comes from a strong core.

Hollow holds for core, give them a try and reap the benefits of developing a rock solid foundation!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Steven Bourdage

Crawl for Core

Crawl For Core

One of my favorite exercises to improve your overall health, strength and fitness is crawling. Crawl for core strength and stability. For most adults it has been decades since you have been on all 4’s crawling around. If you watch how babies and kids move, they are pliable, nimble and agile. The can spend extended time in a deep squat, they can fall down and bounce right back up, and they crawl around on the ground. All of these movements are natural human movements that we should continue to perform even into adulthood.


When performing the crawling exercise, not only are you engaging your full body musculature, you are also firing neurons in your brain. The cross crawl pattern of moving your opposite extremities at the same time has been shown in numerous studies to be beneficial to the brain. Patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia have been shown to have positive effects of practicing cross crawl exercises. Anytime we can find exercises that benefit both brain and body…I’m a fan.

I use crawling mostly as a warm up before my other workouts. I set a timer for 5 minutes and try to keep crawling for that whole time. Beware, it takes time to work yourself up to a 5 minute crawl. If you are not ready for that yet, start small. I recommend crawl for one minute, rest for 2 minutes. Repeat 3-5 times. Sometimes, if I am not working out or if it’s a rest day, I will still get down on all 4’s and crawl. I feel so much better physically after I crawl for core, and it also wakes me up. I always feel more alert after.

There is no shortage of ways to incorporate crawling into your routine. Please give it a try and let me know your thoughts.

Your Chicago Chiropractor,

Dr. Steven Bourdage DC

The Best Ab Exercise You Are Not Doing

As a chiropractor here in the Chicago area, one of the most common questions I get asked is, “How can I get my abs and core to be stronger?” This is a great question and there are plenty of exercises to accomplish this. See the video below for one of my most favorite exercises. This exercise does not have a name, so I call it the best ab exercise you are not doing.

As you can see in the video above, this exercise will have you coordinating movements of your hips and shoulders through your midsection. This is very different than most ab exercises that have you moving only your upper torso or legs at once. This engages your whole body which is why I love it! The human body is designed to move as one unit, not separated out into isolated body parts. I also like this exercise because it does not put a lot of stress on your shoulders like a plank can. It is also quite stress free to the lower back, unlike old school sit-ups.

If you find yourself going in circles while doing this exercise, you are not doing it correctly. Stop, reset, and try again.

In conclusion, try the best ab exercise you are not doing and let me know how you like it. Personally, I do 10 reps in each direction, rest shortly then do 8 in each direction, rest, then 6, rest, and so on all the way down to zero! Be ready for a serious ab burn!

If you would like to make an appointment with our office please click here https://bourdagechiropractic.com/appointment-request/

Your Chicago Chiropractor,

Dr. Steven Bourdage DC

Chiropractic Plank Challenge

Chiropractic Plank Challenge

May 11, 2016

During the month of June we are hosting a chiropractic plank challenge. Sign-up in our office and of you complete the challenge you will be entered into a raffle to win a Fitbit! If you follow the plan you should be able to hold a 5 minute plank by the end of June. That is some SERIOUS core strength! Watch this video and get more info when you are in the office next!

Stay tuned for more details and information as we get closer to June!


Yours in Health,

Dr. Steven Bourdage DC

Exercise – Get Moving!

When it comes to exercise, I often hear one of three excuses.

1) I don’t have the time
2) I don’t have the desire
3) I don’t know what to do

I would like to address each of these to help get you back on the exercise bandwagon. First, who does have time to exercise? I know I don’t, but guess what, I make the time to exercise! We all live in the same world. Family obligations, work deadlines, appointments, commuting, exhausting days, etc… The people you see walking down the street in perfect physical shape have these issues to deal with too. The difference is they see the value in scheduling time to improve their health and wellness. Your health is your number one asset, without it nothing else matters. The healthier you are the better you will be able to manage all the other obligations you have in your life. Unfortunately, a lot of people wait until a crisis to change. Don’t let this be you, make the time, I gurantee you have it!

Secondly, a lot of people are too lazy to start an exercise program. This is a catch 22 because as soon as you start working out, you all of a sudden feel like working out more! The hardest part is getting started. The easy part is to keep going. Just start, that is all it takes. Don’t look back one year from now and think to yourself, “I wish I started last year.” Being sedentary is just a habit, and the best way to break a bad habit is to create a new habit in place of the old one.

Lastly, a lot of people wonder what type of exercise is best for them. My answer to this question is always the same, “Do whatever it is you enjoy doing!” If you are going to take the time to exercise, make sure you are enjoying yourself. Exercise should not be a source of stress, it should be fun. Whether it be walking, swimming, lifting weights, yoga or hula hooping, enjoy it! Life is too short to not have fun!

We all know the importance of exercise and the numerous health benefits it provides. The human body was not designed to be sedentary, get up and get moving! If you need some motivation or ideas on getting started let me know, I’d love to help.