01
July
2013

Exercises to Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Exercises to Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Your core muscles help you do a lot of things. They help you pick up groceries or lift a small child. Your core muscles keep your posture nice and strong, and prevent your back from getting achy. People with more fat around their waists also are more likely to develop heart disease and other illnesses. Core muscles also help you keep your balance.

When you think of strengthening your core, crunches probably come to mind. Those are good core strengthening exercises, but they aren't the only ones you can do. Mostly, you just need a mat or a carpet on which to do these exercises. Shoot to do these exercises three or four times a week for the most benefit for your core.

Categories: Exercise

5.0/5 rating (1 votes)

Bridge

A good one to start with is to do a bridge. Lie on your back and bend your knees so that they're just above your feet. Lift your hips off the floor and hold for a few breaths. Lower slowly to the ground and repeat 5-10 times.

Crunches

With your back on the floor, bend your knees and lift your legs up so they are parallel to the floor. Put your hands behind your head with your elbows out and straight. Now lift your head and neck, being careful to lift with your ab muscles, not your neck. That is one crunch. Lower your head down a little, but not all the way to the floor, and repeat.

There are some variations on the traditional crunch. One is by alternating the side you crunch on. To do this variation, you will need to straighten the right or left leg while keeping the other leg bent and parallel to the floor. Twist your upper body toward the side with the bent leg. Come back to center and bring your leg back to the starting position. Now do the other side. Repeat about 20 times on each side.

Plank

The plank pose comes from yoga and is a great one to strengthen your core muscles. To do this pose, start with your arms straight under your shoulders and feet together on a mat. You can either keep your knees on the mat or lift them so your body is straight. Of course, keeping your knees off the ground will give you a better workout for your core and protect your knees at the same time. You also can do a plank pose with your forearms on the ground and holding the position. Make sure to keep your eyes staring straight ahead if you do this variation so you do not slouch to the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

A variation on this pose is to do a side plank. For side plank, you will be concentrating first on one side and then on the other. Start with the basic plank pose and then shift so only your right hand is on the ground underneath you and your right foot is on the ground. You can either place the left foot behind, in front of, or on top of the right foot, depending on what feels most comfortable. Maintain this pose for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

Enjoy these core muscle building exercises!

Nutrition Facts

01
July
2013

Exercises to Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Exercises to Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Your core muscles help you do a lot of things. They help you pick up groceries or lift a small child. Your core muscles keep your posture nice and strong, and prevent your back from getting achy. People with more fat around their waists also are more likely to develop heart disease and other illnesses. Core muscles also help you keep your balance.

When you think of strengthening your core, crunches probably come to mind. Those are good core strengthening exercises, but they aren't the only ones you can do. Mostly, you just need a mat or a carpet on which to do these exercises. Shoot to do these exercises three or four times a week for the most benefit for your core.

Categories: Exercise

5.0/5 rating (1 votes)

Bridge

A good one to start with is to do a bridge. Lie on your back and bend your knees so that they're just above your feet. Lift your hips off the floor and hold for a few breaths. Lower slowly to the ground and repeat 5-10 times.

Crunches

With your back on the floor, bend your knees and lift your legs up so they are parallel to the floor. Put your hands behind your head with your elbows out and straight. Now lift your head and neck, being careful to lift with your ab muscles, not your neck. That is one crunch. Lower your head down a little, but not all the way to the floor, and repeat.

There are some variations on the traditional crunch. One is by alternating the side you crunch on. To do this variation, you will need to straighten the right or left leg while keeping the other leg bent and parallel to the floor. Twist your upper body toward the side with the bent leg. Come back to center and bring your leg back to the starting position. Now do the other side. Repeat about 20 times on each side.

Plank

The plank pose comes from yoga and is a great one to strengthen your core muscles. To do this pose, start with your arms straight under your shoulders and feet together on a mat. You can either keep your knees on the mat or lift them so your body is straight. Of course, keeping your knees off the ground will give you a better workout for your core and protect your knees at the same time. You also can do a plank pose with your forearms on the ground and holding the position. Make sure to keep your eyes staring straight ahead if you do this variation so you do not slouch to the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

A variation on this pose is to do a side plank. For side plank, you will be concentrating first on one side and then on the other. Start with the basic plank pose and then shift so only your right hand is on the ground underneath you and your right foot is on the ground. You can either place the left foot behind, in front of, or on top of the right foot, depending on what feels most comfortable. Maintain this pose for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

Enjoy these core muscle building exercises!

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