More than just abs and back, so it must be trained this way.

Good Core Pressure

    • Contract the diaphragm by thinking of pushing the abs out in a 360 manner. Front, sides and back. Then stiffen the core against this outward pressing force.
    • IAP toward the back actually has a decompressing effect on the entire spine (see slide 2 & 3 good vs. bad)

 Bad Core Pressure

  • Commonly we only create pressure toward the front. This leaves the lower back arched and creates excessive tightness in the lower back muscles thereby compressing and loading the spine. (see slide 4)
  • -Sucking in your stomach inhibits the diaphragm and actually destabilizes the spine. Avoid cues such as drawing in, pulling the belly button to the spine, or sucking in for cosmetic reasons.  (see slide 2 & 3 good vs. bad)
Neutral Spine 
-Neutral spine must be achieved with proper intra-abdominal pressure. Think about sealing the low back into the ground as if someone is trying to slide their fingers under you back. Do not let them.  (see slide 4) -At the same time pull the ribs down while also spreading wide through the ribs and shoulders. When doing this it is easy to round or hunch the mid and upper back. Avoid this by spreading wide through the ribs and shoulders.

Mostly due to modern lifestyle, the hip joints and mid-back lose the ability to move the way they should. With a little work we can attack stiff muscles and joints so that we are able to spare the spine, and accurately train the core.

  1. Listed below are mobility exercises, joint stability, and movements to do everyday. 

  2. Wednesdays and Sundays are designated as extra practice days for mobility, breathing and movement

Mobility–Work each of the positions below for :20 seconds each:
1. Mid Back Stretch   2. Inner Thigh:  3. Hip Flexor:  4. Glute Stretch Breathing–Complete 3 x 5 breaths each of: 1. 3-Months Position: 2. Low-Kneeling

Movement–Complete 1 x10 reps each of:

1. Quad Rocking 2. Bear Transitions
3. Standing Hip Hinge

These are good vs. bad visuals of the exercises we are having you complete each day.  Results of these exercises is dependent upon 360 degree abdominal pressure and neutral spine. 

I. 3-Months Position–Back flat like a table. Do not shrug shoulders, keep them relaxed on the floor.

II. 6-Months Position–  Back flat like a table.  Shoulders  relaxed and down.  Get “big” through the rib cage, spreading it out to the sides.  Make sure the entire hand is pressed into the floor equally on both sides.

III. Side Bridge Up’s– Back flat like  table. Shoulders and hips stacked directly on top of each other.  Keep ribs stacked evenly over hips, do not let the rib cage sag to the floor as you lift your hips up and down.

IV. Hollow Rocks/Holds– Back flat like a table against the floor.  Hands are extended directly out from the shoulders, ears near elbows.  Initiate movement from the core, as you begin rocking forward and backward, do not let the back flatten out.

V. Mountain  Climbers– Back flat like a table. Equal load in both hands.  Shoulders down, “get big” through the rib cage by expanding it out to the sides.  Draw knee up and slowly rotate through mid-back/hips as you rotate your knee under your torso.


VI.  Torso  Tilts–Stand tall through both feet. Press fingers into the abdomen and create and maintain pressure against your fingers as you lean side to side.  As you lean right, press through left foot. Lean left, press through right foot. 

VII. Bird Dog—Back flat like a table.  Hands equally loaded.  Shoulders down. Get “big” through the rib cage.  Hands are directly under the shoulders, and knees under the hips. Do not let the torso lean or hips drop as you extend your arms and legs.  Keep hips and shoulders square to the floor as you move.

Myth & Fact About Low Back Pain

Myth: “I have low back pain.  I need to strengthen my lower back muscles.”

Fact: Most people with lower back pain actually have back muscles that are too strong and do not have the ability to relax them, leading to excessive compression to the spine. Power needs to be generated from the hips, not the spine.

Myth: “Ab exercises must be fancy and complicated, to work.”

Fact: Focus must be placed on position and activation rather than the exercise itself. When done correctly simple exercises become extremely challenging.

Myth: “I can hold a plank for 90 seconds. I have a strong core.”

Fact: When using long holds or high reps, most people cheat by using their low back instead of their core. Short holds done repeatedly are most effective to train the core.

Myth: “I need to do sit ups for a strong, good looking core.”

Fact: Sit ups create a massive spinal load to the disc of the spine. In fact, they actually recreate the mechanism of a disc herniation!

Myth: “Activating my core the right way just means pushing out and will make me look fat.”

Fact: We can still develop a 6 pack but it must be created over pressure. If pressure is created in all directions it actually decreases bulging in the front, side, and lower abdominal wall.

Myth: “Stretching will cure my low back pain!”

Fact: Stretching the spine is often damaging and should be tailored to the individual patient. Instead, stretching should be focused on the hips and mid back. Rather than stretching the low back, focus needs to be on stabilization training.

Myth: “My doctor said “my back is the worst back he has ever seen, I can’t exercise or I might hurt myself.”

Fact: Degenerative disc disease, arthritis, stenosis, bulges, etc can be a normal part of the aging process similar to getting wrinkles for your spine. If we unload these tissues through proper exercise and spine sparing strategies, we can lead a pain free life even with these imaging findings.

Exercises to Avoid at All Costs: “No Go” Zone

These exercises create massive spinal loads. The risks of doing them for ab workouts, outweigh the benefits.

  • -supermans
  • -leg lifts
  • -sit ups
  • -crunches
  • -V ups
  • -leg press
  • -hamstring stretches
  • -hanging leg raise
  • -windshield wipers
  • -lying on back dropping knees to side

Most Common Low Back Pain Classifications

Flexion Intolerant Low Back Pain

Our program helps because it avoids common ab exercises that trigger flexion intolerant low back pain. 


  • -sit ups
  • -leg lifts
  • -knee to chest stretch
  • -hamstring stretch
  • -sitting for long periods of time
  • -sitting without a lumbar roll
  • -slouching during sitting


  1. -Repetitive extension in lying 1-2 mins 5-6x per day. 


  1. -Repetitive extension in standing 10 reps 5-6x per day.

Extension intolerant low back pain


Our program works because it places an emphasis on correcting the over-arched low back. If done correctly, it teaches the abs to do their job and prevent the back from arching. 


  • -supermans
  • -sitting with an overly erect posture 
  • -exercising with “chest up”
  • -ab exercise with your back arched off ground. 


  • -Low kneeling with rounding of low back 10 second hold x10 reps 5-6X per day (see video)


  • -Standing repetitive flexion x10 reps 5-6x per day (see video)

Our recommendations for nutrition during this 30-Day Virtual Abs Academy is simple.

  • We will encourage fasting every week: the goal is to fast 16 hours a day and eat within an 8 hour window, and complete 2 x 24 hour fasts a week.
    • For example, eat supper at 6:30 pm, then do not eat again until the following day at 10:30 am
    • Between 10:30 am-6:30 pm eat your 2-3 meals (suggestions below)
    • Try to complete 24-hour fasts on days you will not be working out. For example, eat breakfast and lunch, then do not eat again until the following day’s lunch. (coffee is allowed, tea and collagen, water)
    • During your 8-hour window of eating, choose good sources of protein, 2-3 servings of healthy fats (listed below),  fruit and veggies, and whole grains .
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Eliminate as many processed foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners as possible.
  • Focus on protein with each meal or snack.
  • Tracking or journaling your food intake is always advised.

Sample Day of 16-Hour Fast

6:30 pm-10:30 am–FASTING

10:30 am–Breakfast and/or Snack

1 pm–Lunch-(Example) 

3 pm–Snack (optional)

6:00 pm–Dinner


Sample Day of 24-Hour Fast

10:30 am–Breakfast and/or Snack

1 pm–Lunch

1:30 pm-1:30 pm 24-Hour Fast (consume water, coffee, tea)



Recipe Ideas:

Lemon Chicken with Asparagus


4 boneless skinless chicken breast  (remember to cut any fat off) 

1/2 tsp black pepper 

1 tsp Garlic powder

 1 tsp Onion powder 

1 Lemon, juice and zest,

 large 2 tbsp. Rosemary, 

fresh 1/2  cup chopped cilantro 

2 lbs. chopped in half Asparagus 

Instructions 1: preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss Chicken with black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and asparagus together in a large bowl.  

2: Bake chicken and asparagus on large cooking sheet for 15 minutes. 

3: After 15 minutes, take the large cooking sheet out of the oven, drizzle lemon juice, rosemary and chopped cilantro on the chicken and asparagus. Cook for another 10‐15 minutes until chicken is cooked thoroughly.  

Notes: After 10 minutes, drizzle 1/4 cup of water on the cookie sheet. This will steam the asparagus half way through the cooking.  


Spicy Ground Turkey 

2 garlic cloves minced 
2 lbs. of 99% lean white ground turkey 
4 tbsp. of low sodium soy sauce 
1/3 cup of chicken broth 
 3 tbsp. of ground cumin  
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro 
4 thin slices of jalapeño 
1/2 tsp of onion powder   

1: Heat the 1/3 cup of chicken broth on medium heat. Add the ground turkey, garlic and onion powder into the pan. Brown until ground turkey is fully cooked. 

 2: Add in soy sauce, cumin, jalapeno and cook for 5 minutes on low.  

3: After 5 minutes of cooking on low, sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro.

Notes:  If you  want more spice,  add additional slices of jalapeño  with chopped cilantro. 


Healthy Beef & Broccoli 

2 lbs. lean steak  
1 1/2 lbs. broccoli 
1/2 cup of soy sauce  
1/3 cup of minced garlic  
1 tsp. Fresh ginger 
1 tsp. Black pepper 
1 tsp. Onion powder 
1 Cup  of water, as desired 1/2 cup of chopped green onion 
1: In medium bowl. Combine thinly sliced steak with black pepper, onion powder. 
2: Heat non‐stick skilled on medium. Working batches add sliced steak meat into the skillet and add water as needed. (we are not using oil so the water is a substitute, so that the steak isn’t dry) As steak is cooked transfer all meat to clean plate.  
3: Once all the steak is cooked. Add the broccoli and garlic to the pan (no steak should be in the pan, cooked steak should be on transferred clean plate),  add 1 cup of water. Turn on medium high for 5 minutes. (add water if you see the water evaporating quickly. ) 
4: Once broccoli is cooked thoroughly, transfer broccoli and steak into new skillet  and turn on medium heat. Add in soy sauce, fresh ginger, onion powder.  Cook combined meat and veggie for 3‐4 minutes.  
5: Turn skillet off after no longer than 5 minutes and add in chopped green onion.  
Notes If you like beef or chicken broth, you can add in 1/2 cup of  in step 4. 
How creating 360 degree abdominal pressure, creating a neutral spine, and completing this program works for changing how your core looks and feels.

The purpose of this DISCLAIMER AND NOTICE is to make you conscious of the potential risks connected with activity in any exercise, physical fitness or training program. And to help you make an informed decision as to whether or not you should participate in these types of activities.


DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITYInjuries of all types can occur when participating in exercise, physical fitness and training programs, hence Anna Woods Fitness LLC and InMotion Spine Muscle Joint strongly encourages all members to obtain a comprehensive physical examination by a licensed physician PRIOR to undertaking any exercise or training demonstrated on this website, and/or any of videos, MP4s, MP3s and training manuals offered on this website, you fully assume the risk of any resulting injury.  Such injuries include but are not limited to:

  • Bruising, cuts and general soreness
  • Muscle and tendon injuries
  • Ligament and skeletal injuries
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Heart attack



In consideration of performing or participating in these types of activities, you hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless Anna Woods Fitness LLC and InMotion Spine Muscle Joint and its officers, directors, shareholders, members, employees, and agents, and their respective successors and assigns, against any loss, liability, damage, cause of action, cost, or expense of any nature whatsoever, including without limitation reasonable attorneys’ fees and other legal costs.


This content, information, videos, MP4s, MP3s and training manuals offered and made available on this website are for informational purposes only.




This disclaimer is protected under United States and foreign copyrights. The copying, redistribution, use or publication by you, is strictly prohibited.

The Virtual Abs Academy Challenge!! 

We challenge you to commit to following this program for  30-days and share your success with us from beginning to end, we will draw a winner from the 30-day challenge participant’s,  for a gift card!!  The only requirement is to complete all of the workouts from the workout calendar.  Document changes you see or feel in your core each week.  And lastly, taking pictures from the front and side of your core from your Day 1 and then again at Day 30.

There will be a space to upload your picture below. We want a picture from the side, front and back angles of your mid-section.  

CLICK HERE to join our Virtual Abs Academy


Dr. Jared Shoemaker, is a Doctor of Chiropractic care at InMotion Spine Muscle and Joint in Maize, KS. He and his wife, Dr. Meryl Miller, co-own the business where they both practice. He specializes in assessing and correcting movement patterns for all athletes, to improve joint stability, range of motion, relieve pain, and increase performance and power.

Dr. Meryl Miller, is a Doctor of Chiropractic care at InMotion Spine Muscle Joint in Maize, KS. She specializes in McKenzie Method (MDT) and treatment of pregnant and post-partum women, with emphasis on pelvic floor.
Learn more about their practice at:
Website: inmotionsmj.com, Instagram: @inmotionsmj


Anna Woods, is the founder of sheSTRENGTH, an online fitness, mindset and strength training app for women. She is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and coach and has coached 100’s of women to their personal fitness goals.
You can learn more about sheSTRENGTH at www.shestrength.com or at Instagram: @shestrength

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