Core is a set of muscles that stabilize, rotate and move the spine. A healthy core is important for strengthening the lower back and for better balance. While you may think that a strong core means pronounced abs, this is actually not entirely the case.
When working out with medium and heavy weights, a strong core is extremely important for the proper performance of exercises and their effectiveness. In other words, if you do not include the whole core when performing exercises such as squats or if it is not strong enough, you will feel pain in the lower spine and not in the leg muscles that you should include when performing this exercise.
Core exercises include a lot more than classic crunches. Find ideas for a little different and effective exercises for your next workout below.
1. Russian twist
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Keep your arms straight in front of your chest with your palms facing down. Lean back so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
- Turn right as far as you can, pause, then reverse the movement, then turn left.
2. Mountain climbers
- Place your body in a position with your feet and palms on the floor.
- Pull one knee toward your torso keeping your whole body firm.
- Do the same with the other leg.
- Repeat the movement for 30 seconds or more.
3. Side plank
- Lie on your right side with your legs straight.
- Support yourself with your right forearm or palm so that your body forms a diagonal line.
- Lean your left arm on your side.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and hold for at least 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
4. Side plank with rotation
- Repeat the procedure from the previous point, but this time do not stand still, but make a semicircle with your hand resting on your side.
- Raise your free hand above your body, then slide it through the ‘hole’ you formed with your body.
- Repeat several times.
5. Swinging in a classic plank
- With your abdomen down, keep your body on your forearms and legs straight behind you.
- Swing your whole body back and forth without moving your legs and arms. So you only move the torso.
- Lie on your back with straight arms outstretched behind you and legs also outstretched and slightly raised off the floor.
- At the same time, raise your arms and legs as high as you can, keeping them straight.
- Try to touch your feet with your hands before getting down and repeat this movement.
- Do this exercise for 30 seconds.
7. Exercises with ab roller
- Place a pad under your knees to avoid knee pain.
- Contract your abs strongly and actively and slowly roll the wheel forward to the position where you manage to control the movement, and slowly start returning to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement several times.
8. Leg raises
- Lie face up with your legs outstretched and arms out to the side or under your hips for extra support.
- Slowly raise your feet, holding them together and as flat as possible, until the soles are facing the ceiling.
- Then slowly lower your legs back. Don’t let your feet touch the floor; instead, let it hover a few inches above.
- While doing this movement, make sure your lower back is flat on the floor. If this is difficult for you, do not lower your legs so far.
9. Hip dip
- Start in the plank with the forearms on the floor, elbows directly below the shoulders, arms facing forward so that your arms are parallel, and your legs are outstretched behind you. Wrap the occipital bone and engage the core, buttocks and quads.
- Rotate your hips to the left and touch the floor. Repeat on the right.
- Keep changing sides.
10. Heel touches
- Lie on the floor and raise your knees.
- Touch the right heel with your right hand, then touch your left heel with your left hand.
- Repeat for a whole minute.
Try the exercises at your next workout and strengthen your core muscles!
Your Gyms4you team