Inching Towards a Healthier You
We exercise for all kinds of reasons. For many of us, weight loss is at the top of our list. Whether you are trying to shave a few inches off your waist, get stronger, improve your balance, prevent injury, or do all these things with your full body workout plan, there’s one exercise that checks off all the boxes—the inchworm. It may not sound powerful, but the inchworm is one of the most effective exercises for women. Hence the reason the inchworm is gaining in popularity and popping up in Specialty Classes at Curves as well as on MyCurves On Demand.
Among its many benefits, the inchworm does the following:
Strengthens your core
The inchworm works your core stabilizers and abdominal muscles—key muscles that keep your body upright and balanced. As we age, our core muscles are some of the first to weaken. By regularly working these muscles with strength exercises for women like the inchworm, we can keep our bodies more fit, agile, and youthful. 1
Ups your upper body strength
Because the inchworm forces you to support your body weight with your upper body as you walk your hands forward, it’s a great move to include in your workout plan for strengthening muscles in your shoulders and arms. As a bonus, if you choose, you can add a pushup when you reach the plank position for an extra upper body boost. 2
According to the National Council on Aging, an older adult is treated for a fall in the emergency room every 11 seconds. Every 19 minutes, one of those patients dies from a fall. Falls are also the leading cause of fatal injury in older adults. The frustrating part: Most falls are preventable. By putting certain safety measures in place in your home and performing strength exercises for women that work your core and improve your balance—like the inchworm—you can reduce your fall risk. 3
Helps you survive a fall if one does occur
Some of the most detrimental falls to older people are those that render them unable to get up. Both risk of falling and risk of not being able to get up after a fall increase with weak muscle function. So, it’s a good idea to keep your body fit and fall proof with exercises that increase muscle function and strength, especially in your core. Enter the inchworm! 4
Keeping all these reasons to include the inchworm in your gym workout in mind, here are instructions on how to do the move:
Start standing, with your feet hip-width apart.
As you exhale, hinge forward at your hips, extend your arms in front of you, and place your palms flat on the floor. Keep your legs straight without locking your knees and your back flat. You can bend your knees if you must to get your palms flat on the floor.
Slowly walk your hands forward without moving your feet. Your heels will start to rise off the floor. Continue walking your hands forward until you reach a push-up (or high plank) position, where your head, spine, and hips are level to the floor and your shoulders are stacked directly above your wrists. Make sure your torso and head are in line with your spine. Pause in plank position for a moment, pressing down so your arms are fully extended at your elbows.
Then, reverse the move by slowly walking your hands back until they are close to your feet, keeping your legs straight and your spine flat. Return to the standing position. That’s one rep. Complete two sets of 10 to 12 reps. 5, 6
Another great thing about the inchworm: You can modify the move to make it a low, medium, or high intensity exercise for women. For the low intensity version, bend your knees and arms as you walk your hands out and take smaller steps with your hands. For medium intensity, keep your arms straight but bend your knees as you walk your hands out. And to maximize the inchworm at high intensity, keep both your arms and legs as straight as you can (without locking your knees or elbows) as you walk your hands out in front of you. 7
Remember, every inch counts as you work toward your ultimate fitness relationship goals at Curves women’s fitness club. By incorporating the inchworm into your workout routine, you’ll reach those goals even faster!