Strengthening your core muscles is great for athletes, but it’s also good for just about anyone! If you want to avoid fatigue, back pain, low endurance, poor balance, and poor posture, among other things, working on strengthening your core muscles is a good idea. Luckily, it’s easier than it sounds! There are many different exercises that target your core. Some include weights or exercise machines, but others you can easily do practically any time, anywhere! Check out these awesome exercises to strengthen your core and feel stronger, fast!
One of the most popular core exercises is the plank. It looks so simple, and it is easy to execute, but the tricky part is holding this position! The plank is an exercise that’s meant to be held for a period of time. Once you are in position, try holding there for 30 seconds, it’s harder than it seems!
Once you do it enough, 30 seconds will feel easy and you can hold it for longer intervals of time. The more you plank, the longer you’ll be able to hold it! It works your abdominal muscles and your arms, and it’s a great way to strengthen your core!
2. Russian Twists
This is a great core-strengthening exercise that can be done with or without weights. From a seated position, raise your legs to about 90 degrees. Then, begin twisting side to side! Squeezing your abdominal muscles while twisting makes the exercise even more efficient and helps to tone and strengthen your core even more.
When you’re comfortable doing the exercise without any weight, try adding a medicine ball or a small weight for more of a challenge! If you find you’re having trouble balancing while performing this exercise, holding something lightweight like a shoe can help to keep you more balanced while twisting.
3. Leg Raises
Leg raises are one of the more challenging core exercises, but they deliver great results. From lying on your back, use your core muscles to lift your legs together straight up. From there, bring them back down until your legs are about an inch off the ground. Keeping your legs from touching the ground will require you to really engage your core muscles! From there, bring them back up, and repeat!
It’s a great challenge that is very efficient at targeting your core muscles and strengthening them. If you’re just starting out, try managing fewer reps to start out, like 2 reps of 10 leg raises. Once you’re more comfortable, try amping up the number of reps!
V-ups are another great core targeting exercise that may feel similar to leg raises, but you’re engaging more muscle groups with this exercise. They are called v-ups because of the shape your body makes while you perform the exercise. You start with your legs raised at an angle with your arms above your head, in the shape of a slight v! Then, bring both your arms and legs inward, making a smaller v with your body. From there, you pull back out again to the original v shape you started in.
Throughout the exercise, make sure you’re engaging your abdominal muscles and using your core to lift your legs! It’s a challenging exercise, but it also delivers great results and targets your core to strengthen it.
5. Classic Crunch
You probably know about this exercise. The classic crunch is well-known for a reason! It’s a great and simple exercise that targets your core muscles and gives your abdominals a great workout. It’s almost like a toned-down version of the v-up exercise, with your feet on the floor and hands behind your head. You’re still in a vague v-shape, just smaller!
The crunch is a core blaster because it targets your abdominal muscles and forces you to use your core to lift and lower your upper body. Just be sure that you don’t end up relying on other muscles to do the lifting, like your arms!
6. Single Leg Jackknife
This exercise is also similar to the v-up exercise, which is a good thing because that motion targets your core, so it’s no wonder many of these exercises seem to have a similar movement and shape to them. Starting on your back, raise one leg up and bend at the knee and move the arm on the same side above your head. The leg that remains out straight will be the one you lift.
From here, use your core muscles to raise your straight leg up and reach towards it with the arm that’s above your head, engaging your ab muscles the whole time. Then, lower yourself back down and repeat! Try a few reps on each leg to start out, then add more when you get more comfortable with it!
While this position is very popular for toning your glutes and building your dream butt, it’s also a great core strengthener! From lying on your back, bring both feet in and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms palm-down beside you on the floor, then raise your hips up toward the ceiling.
Use your core muscles to raise your hips up, and hold this position, squeezing your core the whole time. Try holding this position for 30 seconds, like with a plank, then once you’re comfortable with that, add more time!
The v-sit is almost like an inverse of the bridge. Like the bridge and plank, this exercise is meant to be held for a period of time. It’s simple to get into this position, the challenge comes from holding it and engaging your core.
This position works on your balance too, which goes hand-in-hand with a strong core! From sitting, simply raise your legs together and reach towards them with your arms, creating a v-shape. Focus on your balance and keeping your abdominal muscles engaged while you hold this position, and your core will get stronger!
9. Plank Shoulder Taps
This core exercise doesn’t look like a typical core blaster, but it is! It’s similar to the plank, but instead of holding the plank position so low to the ground, you enter a raised plank position. You can get here by starting in a plank position, then pushing your upper body upwards on your arms.
Holding this raised plank position is a core workout in itself, but when you add the shoulder taps it becomes more of a challenge and more effective. With one hand, reach and tap the shoulder of the opposite arm. Then repeat with the other hand. While you’re doing this, focus on keeping your core engaged and keeping your balance.
10. Supine Toe Tap
This is a popular exercise that comes from pilates. It looks similar to the leg raise, but it’s a little easier to execute (although you’d better believe it still delivers on results!). From lying on your back, raise both legs together and bend at the knees to make a 90-degree angle.
To begin the exercise, lower one leg at a time to tap the floor with your toes. Bring that leg back up, and then do the same with the other leg. While tapping, use your core muscles to raise and lower your legs! This keeps them engaged and strengthens the muscles.