Reebok Core Pilates

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What is the Reebok Core Board?

Reebok Core Pilates

By now, you probably realize that adding deep core work to your abs workout can make an enormous difference. The Reebok Core Board is one of the best pieces of abdominal equipment, because it can be used for the entire body. It was created by Alex McKechnie, who worked as a physical therapist to Canada's World Cup Soccer Team.

Like many other physical therapists who specialize in athletic conditioning, McKechnie been using a wobble board, which is a platform built on a half-sphere or rockers, for a number of years. Unfortunately, he found that the wobble board was only minimally effective. This was due to its passivity: As McKechnie's athletes shifted their weight from one side to the other or from front to back, the board passively moves in the same direction. When he designed the Core Board, he added qualities of recoil and torque. Although the Core Board can rotate, twist and tilt in any angle, like a faithful puppy, it always returns to its original position.

This creates a highly dynamic form of training. If you move to one side, the board exerts a force that will move you in the opposite direction. In 1999, McKechnie joined forces with Reebok to create the Reebok Core Training Program. One of the key benefits of the Core Board is the fact that it is a progressive form of exercise. A knob at the bottom of the board controls how "wobbly" it will be. Beginners and senior citizens can tighten the knob, thereby giving the board less movement. As proficiency develops, the knob can be loosened to create more movement. This will present a significantly greater challenge.

A few years later, Reebok fitness presenter Lisa Wheeler and physical therapist Elizabeth Larkham created the Reebok Core Pilates program. Larkham is known as an innovator of Mind Body movement techniques for fitness, clinical, entertainment, arts and academic settings. She has transformed the Pilates technique by taking a Feldenkrais approach to mat and apparatus vocabulary. In doing so, she infused the traditional Pilates method with exercises that promote core control and rotary movement arcs. The result is movement that is functional, healing, and aesthetically pleasing.

Larkham has worked as a Pilates and Dance Medicine Specialist with the San Francisco Ballet, Cirque de Soleil, and at the Center for Sports Medicine at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. While directing the Saint Francis program, she developed Pilates protocols for rehabilitation of a variety of orthopedic and spinal injuries.

Since many of these exercises can be rather challenging when performed on the Core Board, be sure to master them on the floor before adding a balance challenge. Here is an example:

  • Lie face up on the Core Board.
  • Start with your knees bent and in alignment with your hips.
  • Calves parallel to the ground.
  • Hands are behind your head. Fingers are unclasped. Elbows are open.
  • Contract abs so that your back is in contact with the board
  • Lift head, neck and shoulder blades off the board.
  • Inhale to prepare.
  • As you exhale, extend your left leg and rotate your upper body towards your right bent knee. Be sure to keep your left hip on the board.
  • Inhale as you pass through center.
  • Keep your head and shoulders lifted.
  • Exhale as you switch sides.
  • Continue alternating for 10 repetitions. (One rep = a rotation to each leg)



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