Think of your core as the all-important connector between your upper and lower body. The primary muscles that comprise the core surround the spine, abdominal area and hips. If your core isn’t strong and resilient, your body’s movement could be impaired and ineffective, because many of your movements begin in your core or engage it in some way.

A strong core also enhances your balance and stability, helping to prevent tumbles during daily movement and sports. Ever felt a ping in your back while reaching or twisting? Lower back pain can often be prevented by exercises that promote core strength, which helps support your back during reach or twist movements. There’s plenty to appreciate about a strong and healthy core!

Ready to give your core some love? Join group fitness instructor Brandi Boyd for Core+ on Thursdays at 9 am. The secret to Core+ is definitely not sweating through an endless series of core exercises for the duration of the class. That little plus sign in the class name represents a more holistic focus: the class flows from warm up to core exercises to cool down stretches in Tabata-style intervals.

Warm up: You’ll spend a few minutes getting your muscles ready through exercises such as jumping jack tap outs or squats.

Step or jump into jumping jack tap outs as a warm up

Core exercises: Next up is a series of exercises that target core area muscles in many different ways. Say hello to your abs with reverse table top calf crunches or to your obliques with side plank dips. Brandi might also incorporate dumbbells or kettlebells to add strength training; this is always optional.

A slow reach forward while curling up in reverse table top calf crunches


Cool down: This stage relaxes you and releases the muscles you’ve been working. Knee hugs that release your lower back and hips, a butterfly stretch for opening hips, or look-backs with a slight twist that release the obliques might be on the menu.

Knee hugs may be part of the cool down/stretching portion of class

Core+ delivers a solid workout with a variety of movements in a half hour. All fitness levels are welcome. For a full hour of class, pair Core+ with the preceding half-hour cardio class. In May, these cardio classes are Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT) Cardio with Brandi (5/18) and LIIT Cardio (5/11) and Country Heat (5/25) with Christine; all at 8:30 am.