So why should you bother with core exercises? The answer is because they round off any workout. People tend to forget about core exercises or overlook them and even dismiss them as not worth the effort. But the truth is that it is very important for you to keep those core muscles working.
Improve your Stability and Balance with Core Exercises
When you do the right core exercises you will train your hip muscles, pelvis muscles, abdomen muscles and lower back muscles so that they will all work well together. This will improve your stability and balance.
If you participate in any sports then having good stability and balance is a major plus. It will also help you with other physical activities and in your day to day activities as well. You will be less prone to picking up injuries.
You will find Physical Activities easier
When your core muscles are strong it will be a lot easier to perform physical activities such as tying your shoelaces, reaching up to that top shelf for something and sporting activities such as your golf swing. If your core muscles are weak then you will not have optimum endurance and you will be more easily fatigued.
A lot of people that have weak core muscles often suffer with posture problems. They are also more prone to muscle injuries and pains in their lower back. If you are already suffering from back pain then core exercises can improve it.
You can perform Core Exercises at Home without Special Equipment
There is no need for you to go to a gym to perform core exercises and you do not have to get any special equipment. Some inexpensive core training equipment can be a big help though so please go here to find out more.
Use Core Exercises to tone your Abs
If you want your abdominal muscles to be more defined then core exercises are the right way to go. It is important that you understand that if you need to burn fat then the right diet and some aerobic exercises will be required too. Exercises for your core will tone and strengthen the muscles underneath.
You can undertake a quick workout that will provide strength to your core. The exercises that you are about to read are true core classics which sports people have been using for many years. The reason that they are used so much is because they are very effective at building up your core muscles.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a novice or a seasoned athlete you will benefit from these exercises for your core. The whole workout should not take you more than around 30 minutes and there is no reason at all why you shouldn’t take things slowly in the beginning holding the important positions for as long as you can.
Over time you can hold positions for a longer amount of time, increase the intensity of the exercises and perform more repetitions. Gradually you will start to notice that your core strength is improving and you can also use these exercises as a warm up routine for a fuller workout.
So here are five great core exercises that you can easily do at home:
- The Plank
This is one of the most famous exercises around and it will be a good warm up for you. The great thing about the Plank is that all of your core muscles are engaged when you perform it. These muscles include the hip flexors, internal and external obliques, the rectus abdominis, the transverses abdominis, the multifidus and the erector spinae.
To perform the standard or forearm plank you need to keep your torso straight and rigid. You will bend your arms in front of you and balance on your toes. You need to keep control of this position and hold it for as long as you can. You should go for a minimum 15 second hold and up to one minute.
Once you have mastered the Plank you can make it more difficult by alternatively raising one arm in front of you and then keeping this position for around 10 seconds. Then repeat with the other arm. You can then use your legs instead of your arms.
- The Side Plank
You will probably need to practice the side plank a bit before you get it right if you are a beginner. We encourage you to do this as it is a great exercise for your lateral stabilizers. This will in turn improve your stability and maintain the strength in your transverse abdominis and your obliques.
You will be on your side using one arm to support you. Your other arm will be extended upwards in line with your supporting arm. Your torso is straight and rigid. Once in the position hold for a minimum of 15 seconds up to 60 seconds. Change sides and repeat again.
You can make the side plank more of a challenge by raising your top leg up a little bit (few inches). Maintain this position for 10 seconds and be sure to keep your balance.
- The Bicycle Crunch
This is a really classic exercise that you may have done before. It really works your core and is great for your obliques and rectus abdominis. It is easy to do so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting started with this right away.
Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head. Don’t pull your neck. Raise your knees to create a 45° angle and then gradually start to perform a bicycle pedaling motion. Be sure to keep your lower back firmly pressed against the floor.
Now you need to touch your right elbow with your left knee and then vice versa. Make sure that the motion that you use is controlled. Go for around 10 to 25 reps for each side and increase this number once you have developed the endurance and strength.
- The Hip Bridge
The hip bridge (sometimes known as just the bridge) will target your hamstrings and your gluteus muscles. It is a very good core exercise that also works the lower back and abs muscles.
To start the bridge lay on your back and bend your knees keeping your feet flat. Place your hands by your sides. Now tighten your butt and abs muscles and raise your hips so that a straight line is created between your shoulders and knees. Hold for at least 15 seconds and up to one minute.
- Single Leg Bridge
Master the previous bridge exercise before you attempt the single leg bridge. This is another of those classic core exercises that will work many of your core muscles.
The starting point is lying on your back with your hands by your sides and your knees bent. Keep your feet flat on the floor right under your knees. Rise up into the bridge position and as you do this tighten your core. Now raise one leg and fully extend it. Maintain a raised pelvis and avoid one side dipping down.
Keeping control is very important with this exercise so practice until you can hold for at least 20 seconds to 30 seconds. Make sure that you alternate and use both legs.