If you aren’t working on your core, you need to be! Your core muscles, which consist of your abs and a network of muscles around your lower back, pelvis and hips, are vital not only for your overall fitness but everyday life.
Your core affects your balance, posture and stability. Essentially, the stronger your core, the easier you can move and the less injury-prone you’ll be. Training your core could also help to counteract all the hours you’re now spending at home, sat on your sofa or at your makeshift desk.
With that in mind, we’ve added our top 7 core strengthening exercises.
This is an easy but effective core exercise. Lie flat on your back and bend your knees with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Then raise your hips and hold for 10-30 seconds. Focus on tightening your core and glutes.
Crunches are a great workout for your core muscles. The exercise is similar to sit ups. By lifting your upper body, you can focus on tightening and controlling your abs. Take care though, and exercise slowly, this type of core strengthening can be tough.
This exercise is all about controlling your core muscles. It requires no movement, which means you’ll really feel the burn. Start on your back and raise your legs, keeping them straight. The hardest part is keeping your lower back on the ground and your shoulders down – but it’ll be worth it.
If you’re experiencing lower back pain, you might have a weak core. The Superman can help you regain strength. Start on your front with your arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position. Simultaneously raise your arms and legs, whilst keeping your torso stationary. Hold for 2 to 5 seconds and slowly lower back down.
Plank Knee Crosses
Starting in a plank position pull your knee towards the opposite elbow and repeat with the other side. The aim of the exercise is to tighten your core muscles. So, the closer you can get your knee to your elbow the better the results. Try 8–12 reps.
The bird dog is great for strengthening your core, as well as testing your coordination, balance and stability. And don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Start on all fours, then lift and straighten your right leg to hip level. At the same time, lift and extend your left arm to shoulder level. Then switch to your left leg and right arm. Try 8–12 reps.
This exercise is a classic core workout, perfect for sculpting and strengthening your abs. Lie flat, bend your knees and plant your feet, keep your lower back glued to the floor. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing outwards. Bring your left knee towards your chest and extend your right leg. Leading with your right shoulder, bring your right elbow towards your left knee. Twist your ribs and engage your abs and obliques. Switch and repeat on the other side.