When it comes to physical wellness, never underestimate the power of core strength, as you’ll use it in just about every workout or activity you take on. So, how exactly do you start building a stronger core? Here are a few exercises to try.
Most of us can’t stand them, but planks are vital to building core strength. They also build strength in other parts of your body, including your spine, shoulders, and even your glutes and quads.
The most important thing to remember is that planks are only effective if you use the proper form. A quick tip: Brace your core as if someone is punching you in the stomach to ensure you’re activating the ab muscles.
Another workout that is highly effective in strengthening your core (and spine!) is the Russian twist. This exercise will also help improve your balance and stability.
Some words of warning when doing Russian twists: Make sure you’re situated evenly against both sit bones to protect your tailbone. And listen to your body! You can always lay a towel down for extra padding to avoid injury.
The name is unique, and the exercise is too, but it’s incredibly effective. Plus, it’s easy on your back, which is always a benefit.
The dead bug workout stabilizes your core and spine while improving your posture and eliminating lower back pain. It requires a decent amount of coordination and balance, so it may be more challenging at first.
This yoga pose is essentially the reverse of the dead bug exercise. It’s perfect for balance and stability while also working out your core, though it doesn’t feel as challenging as some other core workouts.
An added bonus: The bird dog pose also strengthens your hips and back, which is great for individuals experiencing back or hip pain. It’s also a great stretch for your extremities.
Standard crunches will only get you so far, so bicycles are a great way to step up your core game. Remember, bicycles are essentially useless if not done correctly. It’s important to focus on maintaining proper form before you pick up speed and increase your reps.
Although sit-ups are among the most common core exercises, it’s easy to lose your form as you begin to get tired. Butterfly sit-ups are a great alternative to force yourself into proper form with every rep. When you open your legs in a butterfly position, you’re stretching your hip flexors and preventing extraneous stress on them that could injure you.
Core work is challenging, but it’s far too important to skip! While there’s no denying it’ll be tough getting started, the more attention you pay to your core now, the better your payoff will be in the long run!