Whether you’re in the gym doing heavy deadlifts, walking down the street, or even just breathing, everything we do on a daily basis involves our core. Having a strong core goes far beyond the aesthetic of “having abs.” A strong core will help you not only in your workouts and in playing sports, but also helps improve posture, and can prevent lower back pain. So how can you achieve a strong core, without spending hours on the floor doing crunches or sit-ups? Here are some of the top exercises recommended by the experts!
You’ve probably seen many people in the gym doing planks, from beginners to advanced, and there’s a good reason for that! Planks are a challenging exercise for your core, that requires minimal movement, but maximum effort. To do the standard plank, you’ll rest your forearms and toes on the floor, holding your body in a straight line from your shoulders to ankles. There are many variations of the plank, to make it more difficult, or easier depending on your fitness level. You can try raising to a high plank by straightening your arms and putting your weight on your hands. To work your obliques, trying twisting your hips from side to side, or doing a side plank.
This is another effective stabilization exercise for your core. Laying on your back, raise your arms straight up to the ceiling, and raise your legs at a 90-degree angle. From there, slowly lower your left arm and right leg to hover just about the floor. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the opposite side.
Leg raises are a great exercise to specifically target the lower ab region. Start by laying flat on your back, and place your hands straight out on the mat by your hips. From there, raise your legs until they reach 90 degrees, keeping them straight the whole way up. Slowly lower until they’re hovering approximately 6 inches above the ground. Your back should remain flat on the floor throughout the whole exercise. If you find it arching, place your hands under your lower back for support. You can also try bending your legs to make the exercise less challenging until you build up the strength.
Build a Strong Core at Back Bay Fit
Want to build a rock-solid core to help you in and out of the gym? Come train with the experts at Back Bay Fit! Fill out an online form to set up your free consultation, or give us a call at 617-450-0001.