7 Best Core Strengthening Exercises You Have to Try
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What Are Strong Core Muscles?
There is more to our core muscles than just the abs. And there is more to core muscles than just the looks. Without a strong core, you’ll be prone to injury, lack stability, flexibility, and the strength to progress in your chosen sport.
You turn, bend, touch the ground, extend, rotate many times during the day. Core muscles are the ones that help perform these movements, they are the muscles that surround your torso and connect your upper and lower body.
Strong core muscles allow for easiness and better mobility in your everyday life and are crucial in sports and fitness.
The major core muscles are:
- multifidus (core muscles that extend and rotate the spine),
- internal and external obliques (side abs),
- rectus abdominis (abs),
- transversus abdominis (core muscles of your waist),
- erector spinae (along your neck to your lower back)
- pelvic floor muscles,
- longissimus thoracis (core muscles protecting your spine), and
- diaphragm (the core muscle for breathing)
Top Benefits of a Strong Core: Why is Core Strength Important Inside and Outside of Training?
A strong core helps avoid injury during workouts and daily activities by protecting your spine, pelvic bones, and vital organs. Training your core muscles will improve your range of motion, flexibility, and posture.
Most importantly, core exercises can help reduce back pain, prevent hernias, and other spinal problems from training, an unhealthy lifestyle, or age. A strong core decreases the tension perceived in the neck, back, and joint. Studies show that core strengthening exercises are helpful in reducing non-specific low back pain.
Core strength is paramount for athletic performance as well. The stability that core muscles give will benefit your lifts and help maintain the proper form. You’ll be able to activate and tighten the core faster and better during exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and military press.
Who Can Benefit from Core Strengthening Exercises?
- Older people
Older people or people who suffer from a lack of flexibility and stability will see an improvement in their condition by training their core muscles. These exercises are not difficult or complicated, so everyone can easily incorporate them into their fitness routine.
Core muscles allow the upper and the lower body to work more smoothly. A strong and tight torso will transfer the energy to all parts to use more power during running and help avoid injuries.
- Pregnant women
During pregnancy, your torso suffers many changes, some of which can be pretty painful. The core muscles are the ones to support the pregnancy weight and help you maintain a better posture to avoid neck, back, leg, and joint pains. Since most of the core strengthening exercises are bodyweight, they'll also help with stretching during pregnancy as well.
Top 7 Core Strengthening Exercises to Try ASAP!
- Elbow to Knee Bird Dog
This core exercise starts by having your knees and palms down on the mat. Next, you raise your right arm and left leg to reach forward, parallel to your core. When you can't extend anymore, slowly and steadily bring your elbow and your knee together without touching the ground.
- Dip Bar L-Sit
Stand between the parallel bars and raise yourself off the ground by grabbing the bar. Raise both of your legs with your toes extended forward.
Try to keep your core stable and stop the movement when your legs align with your upper body. A modified exercise is static L-sit, where you try to keep your body in L-position as much as you can.
- Forearm Plank
Start in a plank position with your forearms and elbows touching the mat. Keep your glute up and try to activate and tighten all core muscles.
- Alternate Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are more than a simple core exercise- they is fantastic to include in any full-body cardio routine. Start in high plank position with your hands under shoulders, core tightened, and back straight. Bring your right knee to your right elbow, go back to the original pose, and redo with the left knee and right elbow.
Perform the exercise steadily without rotating your hips. The aim is to keep the core stabilized and tightened. You can play with the speed of this exercise according to your fitness level.
- Toes to Bar
Grip the bar of the usual pull-up bar for this killer core strengthening exercise. Next, bring your toes to touch the bar between your hand. Hold your arms and legs straight, and don't swing your body a lot by stabilizing your core and back muscles.
- Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Lay on your back with your arms close to your body with both palms facing down. Extend and raise one leg and perform a glute bridge by lifting your hips until the elevated leg aligns with your back.
- Bench Leg Raise
This core strengthening exercise helps you avoid any injury in your lower back by supporting it on the bench and performing the movement with your legs. Lay down and lock your arms behind your hand by gripping the bench.
Doing leg raises on the bench allows for a bigger range of motion than laying on a floor mat.
Ultimate Workout Plan for a Strong Core
Would you invest 30 minutes per week in order to build strength, improve your balance, flexibility, and posture, avoid injury, protect your vital organs, burn calories and define your torso? You can also add 5-10 minutes of these core strengthening exercises at the end of your workout. Choose 2-4 exercises and perform 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each. Another workout plan is the core strengthening circuit. First, you perform a core exercise for 30 and then rest for 30 seconds. After finishing all exercises, you can rest for 60-90 seconds and repeat the circle 2-4 times.