Health and fitness trainer consultants are frequently asked for tips on strengthening the core. Improving core strength can provide many benefits. In addition to tightening your abs, building core strength improves posture, improves functional fitness, reduces your risk of injury, improves balance and stability, and can even help reduce chronic lower back pain. There are many different exercises that you can do to help improve your core muscles and strength.
The plank is one of the most popular exercises for building core strength. The plank strengthens your abs, back, and core. Planks can also help engage your glutes and hamstrings as your body challenges itself to balance and stabilize in that position. Planks can be modified to be made easier or more challenging depending on what your personal fitness goals are. A large yoga ball can be used to support the lower body if you need more balance or more support.
The wheelbarrow is a challenging core strengthening move that can be done with a variety of props. An ab roller or wheel can be used as well as gliding disks. You can even be creative with materials you already have at home, such as paper plates or sheet pans! The movement starts on your knees with the prop in your hands. Slide the prop forward leaning towards the floor. You can go as deep as you are comfortable going. Be mindful during this exercise to use your core, not your back to get back to starting position.
Hip Dips are variations of the plank that support the entire core. To begin this exercise, start in a low plank position and rotate your hips from right to left to activate your core. An online personal health trainer can demonstrate the exercise for you and can help you with form to make sure you are performing the exercise correctly.
Pilates with props are another way to build core strength. Pilates exercises support lean muscle growth, improve flexibility, increase stability and balance, in addition to tightening your abs. Pilates are great low-impact exercises that can appeal to a variety of age groups and fitness levels.
If you want to improve your core strength or feel stuck in the rut doing the same thing each day, try adding one of these core strengthening exercises into your routine. Improving core strength also supports functional fitness and improved daily living. Healthy bodies start at the core. Talk with a personal trainer to see how you can add core strengthening exercises to your exercise training plan.