A Guide To Strengthening Your Core
Each and every one of us would love to have washboard abs, but it is not always possible. For some of us, abs are out of reach because of a specific diet we have to follow; for others, they are out of reach because our bodies are not designed to show ‘abs’.
However, having a solid core is vital for many different aspects of life. Having a solid core does not necessarily mean that you will have abs, simply that the core of your body is strong enough to support the rest of your body.
We’re showing you how to get the strong core that you need to support your body.
To complete this exercise, lay on your back and place both hands at your sides. Bend your knees, place your feet flat on the floor, and then push your butt up to the ceiling. Squeeze your butt when you get to the top, and then come back down.
This is one of the most basic core workouts. All you need to do is lay on your back with your legs bent and bring the top half of your torso up to the ceiling. This is not a pushup, so the lower half of your body should stay on the floor.
Perhaps the most hated exercise of them all, the plank requires you to place your elbows on the floor and then lift yourself so that only your forearms and your toes are touching the floor. The rest of your body must be parallel to the floor, and the position must be held for at least 30 seconds.
For this exercise, you will need to lay down on your stomach and extend your arms in front of you. You will then lift your arms and legs off the floor simultaneously before bringing them back down and repeating the movement.
To do flutter kicks, you will need to lay on your back with your arms at your sides and kick as if you were swimming. Remember that if you want to make this workout a little more challenging, you can count each leg kicking as one kick.
Supine Toe Tap
The supine toe-tap seems easy, but it is actually a pretty tricky exercise. You will need to lay on your back and bend your legs. You will then point your toes and bring your legs up a little bit. You will drop each leg individually so that the toes touch the floor.
Dead bugs require you to lay on your back with your legs bent at a 45-degree angle to your body and your arms out behind you. You will then extend the opposite arm and leg and then do the other side. To make it more challenging, you can count two extensions (one on either side) as one.
Russian twists require you to be in a sitting position and then drop your back slightly to engage your core. You will then rotate side to side, and you can also make this more difficult by counting two rotations (one on either side) as one.
The warrior crunch is an excellent take on the classic crunch, and the best part about it is that it works your obliques, too. You will stand with your legs open and in an almost-squatting position. You will then place your hands behind your head and bring your elbow down to your knee.
Half-Kneeling Wood Chop
To do this workout, you will need one leg bent with your knee on the floor, and the other leg bent with your foot on the floor in front of you. Then, using a dumbbell or a resistance band, you will raise both arms to the side of your head where your knee is on the floor and bring it down to the opposite leg. You must repeat this exercise on both sides of your body.
The bicycle crunch is a more difficult take on the classic crunch. You will get into the same position as you did with your crunch and then put both hands behind your head. You will then bring your opposite shoulder to the opposite knee and repeat on each side.
High to Low Boat
This is a sort of mixture between a Russian twist and a crunch. You will get into a Russian twist position and then extend your legs in front of you. Put your hands out on either side of you for balance, and then bring your chest to your knees. Repeat this movement over and over.
If you hate planks, this exercise is probably not for you. You will get into a plank position and then do a controlled rocking movement back and forth as if your body were a saw. It is one of the more challenging workouts, so maybe don’t attempt this if you are a beginner.
Jackknives are an intense type of high to the low boat, and they feel like it, too. For this exercise, you will need to lay all the way down with your arms extended over your head. You will then need to bring your hands and feet together above your body as if you were doing a crunch.
Hollow Body Rock
Hollow body rocks are a fun and somewhat simple way to get a beautifully strong core. All you need to do is lay on your back and lift your arms over your head slightly. You then rock back and forth in a controlled movement to engage your entire core.