Top 5 Exercises for a Strong and Toned Core
Having a strong core has so many benefits. First of all, it can help to improve your posture, as well as also improving balance and reducing lower back pain.
The core is made up of several muscles, such as the rectus and transversus abdominis and the obliques. Ensuring that these areas are well trained means you will have more core stability and strength. Here are the top 5 exercises for a strong and toned core:
Step 1) Start by lying on your back and pushing your lower spine towards the floor so your core is engaged.
Step 2) Extend the arms out above the shoulders and the legs over the hips, then bend the knees at 90 degrees.
Step 3) Inhale and extend one arm overhead and the opposite leg down towards the floor. Exhale and return the arm and leg back to their original position and repeat on the other side.
Step 1) Begin in a full plank position with your wrists planted on the mat directly underneath your shoulders and then lengthen your legs down the mat. Place the balls of your feet on the ground and engage the core muscles.
Step 2) Bring your left knee over to your left elbow, making sure your hips stay lifted and your body is in a straight line.
Step 3) Once you have brought your knee as close to the elbow as possible, bring the foot back down to the floor and repeat on the other side.
Step 1) Sit on your mat and place your feet in front of you, knees pointing upwards. Place your hands on the floor either side of your hips and once secure, lift your feet off the ground so they are parallel with the mat.
Step 2) Extend the legs out in front of you until they are straight, keeping them hovering off the ground. At the same time, try to lean your body back the opposite way so that you are lengthening your body.
Step 3) When you are in the lengthened stage, you should feel your core muscles begin to shake, at this point, draw the body and legs back into centre and repeat.
Quick tip: To make this exercise more challenging, take your hands off the mat and feel your core burn!
Step 1) Lie on your back, legs extended down the mat and either place your hands under your bum, palms facing down, or straight down the sides of your body.
Step 2) Slowly begin to raise your legs off the floor, keeping them as straight as possible. Keep lifting your legs until they are at a 90 degree angle with your body.
Step 3) When your toes are pointing towards the ceiling, then begin to lower your legs back down to the mat. Keep pushing your lower spine into the mat so that your back doesn’t over-arch.
Step 1) Come into an elbow plank position, with your forearms on the mat and your shoulders stacked on top of your elbows. Your legs will be extended down the mat with the balls of the feet planted down.
Step 2) Drop your left hip down to the left hand side, bringing it as close to your mat as possible. During this movement you should be tensing your core muscles.
Step 3) Once you have lowered as far as possible, lift your torso back up to the centre and repeat on the other side.
These 5 exercises are sure you give you an intense workout and build strength in your core muscles so you’ll be on your way to a toned and more defined core.