Core strength is arguably the most important thing to work on when you're starting a fitness program. Having a strong trunk can save you from some big injury-related issues down the road.
You have probably been told in the past why core exercises are important. Let's get into those reasons and tell you about some exercises to help strengthen your core.
Core exercises work your abs, hips, lower back, and pelvis and helps them all work together to keep you feeling stable, and injury-free! Having a strong core can also help with aesthetic goals and will help make your mid-section smaller and tighter.
Why you need a strong core.
Your core is your body's main stabilizer. It allows you to move freely in every plane of movement, as well as helping you maintain your balance. Aside from those benefits it also helps improve your coordination, posture, flexibility, and can help with your form if you're a runner.
The biggest selling point of core strength is the fact it helps you avoid injury! A strong core keeps you stable and reduces pressure on your joints. It will also reduce your chances of straining your back when you're doing everyday activities like gardening, or cleaning.
How to strengthen your core.
Exercises that target your hips, lower back, abs, and hips are what you want to look for when trying to strengthen your core. Try these moves below to start building strength in your core!
1) Plank - Bracing yourself on your elbows and toes and make a straight line from your shoulder to your toes. Squeeze your abs. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. To make this exercise easier use your knees as your contact point with the floor instead of your toes.
2) Hip lifts/Glute bridges - Lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent up towards the ceiling. Lift your hips to the ceiling and squeeze your glutes at the top. Lower back down and return to start position. Do 1 set of 10-20 reps, graduating to 3 sets.
3) Crunches - Lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent up towards the ceiling. Widen feet until they're hip-width apart. Place your fingers behind your ears, or cross your arms over your chest. Lift your shoulders up and engage your core at the top of the move. Lower back down and return to start position. Do 1 set of 10-20 reps, graduating to 3 sets.
**Crunches should be done with care if you have lower back issues, or have diastasis recti.
4) Bird Dogs - Start on all fours with your knees and wrists stacked directly underneath your shoulders and hips. Engage your core as you lift your opposite arm and the opposite leg up to hip level in either direction. Pause. Repeat with other appendages. Do 1 set of 10-20 reps, graduating to 3 sets.
Do you have a favourite core exercise, team? If so, let me know in the comments of this blog post!
Next blog post: Overtraining: Why rest is important.
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