Most people think of core as having strong abs, maybe back and always associate it with crunches and planks. The core is essentially anything that is not the arms or legs. Mostly centered around the midsection at the front, back and sides. Why is it important to have good core strength? Well every time you, pick up something heavy, carry shopping bags or laundry, lift your kids, amongst other things, you’re relying on your core. This is even more so for athletes. So, yeah average Joe or Josephine, you should have a strong core too…if you want to pick up little Jose often.
What are some good core strengthening exercises then? (Aside from regular crunches) you may ask. There are actually quite a few and we’ll go over a couple of them. Continue reading to check out the list.
Planks This is a staple, and pretty simple to perform. Essentially, you hold the top of the push-up position. If you’re asking what a push-up is, then I can’t help you. Alternatively, you can support your weight on your forearms, instead of your palms, as in the traditional push-up. Another variation is the side plank with the one hand stretched upwards as shown in the third pic below. Try and work your way up to a minute. The first two are easier, and the third is a little more tricky and requires more coordination and balance.
Supermans It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s a guy working out in a gym trying to strengthen his core while doing an impersonation of superman wearing shorts…phew! that was a mouthful. You have to lie face down on a flat surface, with arms and legs outstretched. Raise your hand and legs about 5 inches off the ground, hold for a couple of seconds (4-5) and then lower again. Rinse and repeat and now you too can have superpowers like superman.
Windshield Wipers I swear these exercises on the surface have the funniest names. But on further investigation, they are pretty spot on. No exception with windshield wipers. These work the obliques and lower back. Off course you move your legs from side to side like a pair of windshield wipers.
Reverse Crunch Technically speaking the video below shows a reverse crunch with a hip raise. You can leave out the hip raise part of it, and still get a good lower ab workout.
Summary These are just a few of the core strengthening exercises I wanted to show you today. There are tons more, in fact there are variations to the ones show here also. You can get really creative with these. Everything shown so far, only requires body weight, but you can make them more difficult by adding dumbbells to the mix. But for the vast majority of people, body weight works just fine. Start with the planks first and work your way up to the other ones, don’t rush into doing anything advanced. I will continue to add to this list in the coming weeks. So, stay tuned…