A strong core is an essential component of your overall physical health and athleticism.
Your core is comprised of far more than just your abdominal muscles; it also includes the muscles in your upper and lower back, hip flexors, and pelvic floor.
This complex muscular system performs several important functions that are essential to maintain physical balance, strength and stability.
How To Build A Strong And Solid Core
5 Exercises You MUST Try…
Almost all physical activity engages your core to some degree, so it only makes sense to keep these vital muscles as strong and healthy as possible.
Below Are Five Simple Yet Effective Exercises To Help You Develop A Strong And Solid Core.
This perennial classic exercise is perhaps best known for building the chest, shoulders and arms, but push-ups can also do wonders for strengthening your core.
In order to fully engage your core, you will have to keep your legs straight (no knees on the floor), supporting your entire body weight with your hands and feet only.
For the ultimate core-blasting push-up, try elevating your feet on an aerobic step or Swiss ball; this will require even more core stability to get the job done.
Planks are the core-building exercise that everyone loves to hate.
Assume a position similar to the push-up, but rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Keep your hands close together, almost in a “praying mantis” position, and keep your head lowered, looking at the floor to avoid straining your neck.
With legs and back straight, hold the plank position for at least 30 seconds, but 60 seconds is better if you can manage it.
Repeat this exercise at least three times, resting roughly 60 seconds between sets.
To add a little more intensity into the mix, you can also perform planks with your elbows resting on a Swiss ball.
3. Side Planks
This exercise is perfect for blasting your obliques, those side muscles that are so often obscured by the dreaded “love handles.”
Lie on your side with your legs fully extended, and then prop your body up on the elbow and forearm of one arm.
Now elevate your hips, contracting your abs and keeping your core as tight as possible, so that your entire body forms a straight line. You should have both of your feet together, with only the outside of your bottom foot making contact with the floor.
You will more than likely feel the tension on your core as soon as you assume the side plank position, especially if you’ve never done it before.
Hold this position for a few seconds (20 if you can manage it), and then repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
This reliable staple of every core-strengthening workout never goes out of style.
Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Simply lift your upper body off the floor, keeping your neck as straight as you can (no tucking the chin) to avoid any strains.
When lifting your upper body from the floor, do not come all the way up, as this will take the tension off your abdominal muscles at the peak of the movement. You want to keep those ab muscles engaged at all times, so only lift up about 45 degrees off the floor.
To keep your core engaged throughout the exercise, try not to rest at the top or the bottom of the movement, but make your repetitions a series of smooth, continuous motions.
5. The Superman
Every core workout needs at least one good (albeit slightly torturous) back exercise; the Superman definitely fits the bill in this regard.
Lie face down on the floor (preferably on a carpeted surface or a yoga mat), and assume Superman’s famous flying position, with your arms stretched out straight in front of you. Keep your feet and legs tightly “glued” together and fully extended.
Now lift up your arms, head, chest, knees, and legs to where only your hips and belly are still touching the floor, almost like you’re trying to make a “V” shape with your body.
Hold this extended position for about 25-30 seconds, and then rest. Do it again for about 2 or 3 more repetitions.
This challenging exercise will strengthen your lower back muscles, which is vital for providing good balance and spinal support.
Since your core muscles are some of the most resilient in your body, you can perform these exercises daily, or at least three or four times a week.
Do your best to perform these exercises on a consistent basis, and you will begin to notice a significant difference in your overall core strength and stability.