The best core exercises
The Best Core Exercises
While ab exercises are an essential part of any fitness routine, focusing on just your abdominals is, well, one-sided-literally. They only take care of one part of a much larger muscle group: your core.
Core exercises are exercises that target the muscles of the abdomen and back. Core muscles are essential for maintaining good posture and stability in the body and providing the strength needed for daily activities such as lifting and carrying.
Core exercises can help improve balance and stability and reduce the risk of back and neck injuries. Core exercises can also help improve the entire body's functioning, as they use multiple muscles and joints together, encouraging greater coordination and building overall strength. In addition, core exercises can help increase endurance, improve body composition, and assist in injury prevention.
Here is a list of our favorite core exercises.
This static exercise focuses on maintaining a neutral posture while engaging and toning your abdominal muscles, hips, and glutes.
To perform the plank
- Start in a push-up position with your arms straight and your hands directly beneath your shoulders.
- Next, adopt an open body position, with your head, neck, and spine in a neutral position, your core muscles engaged, and your glutes slightly contracted.
- Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, and work up to more extended periods of time.
- Improved energy levels: When you lose body fat, you’ll have more energy throughout the day. This can make staying active and getting through your daily tasks easier.
- Improved physical performance: When you lose body fat, you’ll be able to move more efficiently and be better able to perform physical activities.
Improved body composition: When you lose body fat, you’ll be able to achieve a healthier body composition, which can help you look and feel better.
Another excellent core exercise works your entire body and strengthens your spine, abdominals, and glutes.
To perform a bird-dog
- Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
- Engage your core and lift your right arm up and out in front of you while simultaneously extending your left leg out behind you.
- Try to keep your spine in a neutral position while you do this.
- Hold the position for a few seconds, then switch sides.
- Perform 10-12 reps
An excellent exercise for toning your abdominal muscles, as well as your obliques.
To perform a Russian twist
Start seated, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
- Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground, balancing yourself on your tailbone.
- Now, twist your torso so you reach out to the side with both hands, then rotate back to the center.
- Keep alternating sides for 30-60 seconds.
Perform 20 reps (10 on each side)
These are just a few exercises you can use to strengthen your core. As with any exercise routine, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity as you become comfortable with each movement. Consult your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program.