As a personal fitness trainer, many of my clients are keen on ways to make their core stronger. While I do core strengthening exercises with them in the gym using some equipment, I also understand that many are not as comfortable in the gym.
If you prefer to try exercising by yourself at home, here are my 4 recommendations for exercises that can strengthen your core. These are very basic exercises that anyone can do.
1. Abdominal Crunch
Let's start with the most well known - widely known as the dreaded crunches.
There are many different ways you can do a crunch, and they are all beneficial for strengthening your core.
The main form a crunch involves laying on your back, and moving your upper half towards your legs. However, due to the possibility of straining your neck during this exercises, there are other ways to do that will involve less risk.
For instance, You can lay your back on the floor, and bring your legs up to your chest. This can be far easier for many people who want stronger core muscles.
15-25 crunches are a great starter to get working on those core muscles.
Like with abdominal crunches, there is a lot of variety when it comes to this exercise. A regular plank involves laying on the floor and supporting your sore using your elbows to prop you up. This works out a variety of core muscles, including your obliques, as well as your abdomen.
Modifications to this can lower the intensity, but still work out those prime muscles. Such as a Modified Plank, which is just like a regular plank, except that you are on your knees. Side Planks also work very well in working out a specific oblique muscle.
One is called the Sliding Pike. In this position, you put a towel under your feet and take a planking position. Then you slide your feet forward, jutting your butt into the air. This works out not only your core muscles, but some of your arm and leg muscles as well.
You should hold these for about 10 seconds and gradually increase the duration to 60 seconds.
3. Knee Tuck
This is where you sit tall, with your knees bent, but forced apart using a ball. An exercise ball works best, but even a child's toy ball will work for this. Then, while keeping your upper body still, lift your knees, and using your arms, pull your knees towards your shoulders. You don't have to place anything between your knees too.
Knee Ticks are similar to a sit up, but can cause less neck strain. This mainly works out your abdominal muscles. I would recommend that you repeat this 15-20 times or more.
4. Leg Extensions
Lay on your hands and knees. Now kick backwards, making a kick with each leg one rep. This will help you work on core muscles as well as your glutes. This is also low impact, which makes it good for beginners as well as seasoned professionals. Unlike the others, there isn't too many alternatives that can be done with these, so it is best to do them by the book.
It is best to do 10-15 leg extensions per set. This is good for starting off. You can do more sets if you have more muscles and endurance.
Aim for 2-3 reps per exercise and you can see the improvements soon.
Think these 4 are too easy? Here are some other exercises you can do.
Having a strong core is key to having a strong body. If your core is strong, you'll have no problems with physical activities up to old age.
If these are too difficult for you, you can also look into Yoga classes or Pilates lessons with us. If you need a more customized training plan, don't be afraid to talk to us about your requirements too.