So one of my favorite ways to engage my core is through a series of balance intensive exercises & today was no different. Try going as seamlessly through each step as possible, taking breaks when you need to. Word to the wise...BREATHE! I promise it helps. It also helps you keep track of how long you are holding each pose.
Start off in table-top on all fours. Then extend your left foot behind you. Keep the foot flexed and engage through your core, the low back should be fully supported by the abdominals. If you are challenged enough there, stay, if you need something extra extend your right hand in front of you, here I am showing a variation of placing the right hand behind the back.
If you have extended your right hand, place it back onto the floor, curl the right toes under and push yourself back into a down-dog split or one legged pike. Be sure to keep the hips parallel to each other while you engage through the glutes to keep the leg there. It does not matter how high up you get as long as you are actively reaching out of your left heel.
Keep that reach in the heel as you lower yourself down into a 3-legged plank. If this is too intensive on your abs, or if it ever aggravates the back please place the foot down for plank. Remember to breathe and try to stay in each position for at least 5 strong, big breaths.
However gracefully bring yourself into a side plank. Whether you decide to bring yourself to an elbow, keep both feet on the floor, or choose a variation that suits you best...make it your own and LOVE it. In 5 breaths you are done and can repeat it on the opposite side! I promising smiling helps :)