Core Strengthening Exercises
Core Strengthening Exercises are used to strengthen the core of your body. The core is the abdomen muscles, pelvis, hips and lower back. By strengthening the core muscles, you will become more balanced and have more stability. Being balanced improves everything you do and prevents injuries.
Pushups are one of the best core strengthening exercises for fitness. Pushups work more muscles than any other exercise and you will notice an improvement in how you look and feel. Pushups work the following areas:
- Hands, forearms, biceps and triceps
- Shoulders, upper back, lower back and neck muscles
- Abdominal muscles
- Gluteus maximus (buttocks)
- Hamstring, calf and the feet muscles
- The heart or cardiovascular muscles
If you are having a hard time doing regular pushups, you can start by doing modified pushups.
The bridge is another great core-strengthening exercise that will elevate your fitness level and are easy to do. The bridge exercise strengthens the following areas:
- Lower back
- The back and front of your thighs
Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Slowly lift your hips and buttocks off the ground for a count of two, lower and repeat.
In addition to strengthening the abdominal and oblique muscles, they also stabilize and strengthen the lower back. Start by lying on your back with feet flat on the floor and knees bent. You can put your hands behind your head where you head meets the neck or put your hands on your chest.
It is important that you do not use your hands to pull your head forward. Use your abdominal muscles and lift your head and neck off of the mat. Lower and repeat. This is not a race, do them slowly and purposefully.
Abdominal crunches strengthen the upper abdominal muscles while reverse crunches strengthen the lower abdominal muscles. Start by lying on your back with feet flat and knees bent. Lift your knees towards your chest and lower your feet back to the ground and repeat.
The plank strengthens all of the abdominal muscles plus the shoulders, buttocks, arms and legs. You begin by lying on your stomach and then raise yourself up so that you're supported by your toes and forearms. Make sure that your head is above your shoulders and your back is flat and in a straight line head to heels, you do not want your buttocks or back to sag or be higher. Tighten your abdominal muscles and hold approx. 20 seconds. You can then repeat the exercise. Your goal is to hold the position longer as you progress your fitness level.
Doing just a couple of reps of each exercise is better than doing none. When doing core strengthening exercises, it is important to do them properly so that you don’t hurt yourself. It is better to do a few core strengthening reps properly than to do many reps the wrong way.
Copyright © 2014 Sam Montana