Many benefits come with building up a stronger core for yourself. Both in your other workouts and everyday life, having a stronger core will make a big difference. Many think your “core” only consists of your abdominal muscles, and while your abs are important for your core they’re not the only elements. Your hips and lower back are included in your core as well and are just as important as abs. Having a stronger core can give you better balance, better posture, and even help reduce back pain! Here are 10 great workouts for getting you a stronger core.
1. Panther Shoulder Tap
The panther shoulder tap is a great workout for stimulating your core. You’ll start on your hands and knees, then engaging your core and keeping your back flat (similar to in a plank) you’ll lift your knees off the floor a couple of inches. Look down then tap one hand to the alternate shoulder (right hand to left shoulder) then switch, making sure to engage your core to keep your hips as still as possible. Put a timer on and see how many you can do! Push yourself and slowly increase your repetitions/time to help you get a stronger core.
2. Hip Dip
This is a fantastic ab & overall core workout that you can do anywhere. You’ll start in a standard plank position (check further workouts down the list) with your forearms on the floor, legs straight behind you, butt down and back straight. For this workout, you’ll engage your hips, core, butt, and quads while you rotate your hips to one side and tap the floor, then repeat to the other side. It activates and works your transverse ab & oblique muscles that overall really moves you toward a stronger core.
3. Butterfly Sit-Up
A butterfly sit-up is a good alternative to the classic ab workout that’s better at working your core. It’s pretty straightforward as you’ll sit in a butterfly stance (soles of your feet together, knees bent out to the sides) and lay back. Reach your arms straight overhead and activate your core to roll your body up until you’re sitting upright. Reach and touch your toes and then slowly lower yourself back to laying down and back to your starting position for one rep. Compared to a regular sit-up, you’ll be focusing more on using your abs rather than your hip flexors and overall helping you build up a stronger core
4. Plank Knee Cross
This workout is great for really stimulating your abs and building you a stronger core. You’ll put yourself in an upward plank position, or also pushup position, with your back straight and elbows with a slight bend. Using your hips and your abs, cross your knee across your body and get as close as you can to the outside of your elbow. Alternate sides and try to do as many as you can in a 30-second interval! Strive for good reps as opposed to trying to do as many as possible to get the best workout.
5. Leg Raise
Leg raises are a good ab workout that also helps for a stronger core. You lay down and have your arms at your sides with your palms facing down. Try to keep your legs straight as you lift them off the ground, keeping your ankles close together, and bring them up to a 90-degree angle. Make sure to keep your back and butt on the ground as you do so! This workout focuses on your lower abs as well as your hip flexors.
6. Superman Pull
This core workout focuses on your lower back as opposed to your abs. Lay on your stomach and have your legs straight behind and your arms straight out ahead. Activate your core and lower back and lift your legs and arms off the ground up as high as you can go. For the “pull” part of the workout, you’ll bend your elbows and bring your arms closer to your head and down to your sides but still off the ground. Your elbows should be in a 90-degree angle then push them back out straight and then slowly drop your legs and arms to the ground for one rep.
7. Dead Bug
The dead bug workout may not give you the same burn as other core exercises but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good for building a stronger core. It works all aspects of your abs and can be done anywhere! Lie down on your back with your arms extended up toward the ceiling and your knees up and bent in a 90-degree angle. Extend your right leg out straight and drop the alternate arm (left arm) straight past your head. Alternate sides so extend your left leg and drop your right arm for another rep. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds! Increase the time or strive for more reps in the time interval to build a stronger core.
This is a more advanced workout to do but is great for building a stronger core. Similar to leg raises, you’ll lay on your back with your legs out straight but this time you’ll have your arms straight above your ears. You’ll do a leg raise while also lifting your outstretched arms to make a “V” formation. Both of your hands will reach towards your toes, possibly touching them, then slowly lower your legs and arms down back to the starting position. If this is too difficult for you then you can just do a single-leg v-up! Or if you want an even greater challenge you can hold a medicine ball and lift it up as you raise your legs.
The hollowman is a more isometric exercise meaning it doesn’t focus on contraction (reps) but more on holding the position for tension. You’ll lay flat with your legs stretched out and your arms at your side with your palms facing up. Keep your ankles together and lift your legs up into the air at about a 45-degree angle. At the same time lift up your arms off the ground a couple of inches. You want to hold this position for as long as you can to stimulate your core including your abs and lower back.
As one of the most classic core workouts, the plank is great for building up a stronger core! There are a couple alternate positions you can do for this workout. One is you’ll be holding yourself up with your forearms and your back flat and butt down. The other is you’ll be in a push-up position with your arms holding you up, with a very slight bend, and your back flat and butt down. Keep your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart and make sure you are concentrating on your core as you hold the position. Try to hold either position for about 30 seconds or if that’s too easy then go for a minute and try to see how long you can hold it!
What are some of your favorite workouts for a stronger core? Share them with us in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
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