5 Exercises To Help Develop A Strong Core

Your core is the center of your entire being, your strength, your stability. Comprised of your abdomen, lower back, and buttocks, your core has muscles that extend far beyond your abdomen and center region. In fact many core muscles extend down into your arms and legs. Your core also makes up the largest amount of your body, which makes it very important indeed.

If you want to strengthen your core, you have to focus on activities that strengthen the muscles in your core region. Many types of exercise strengthen your core, including rowing, yoga, weight lifting, Pilates, and more. Regardless of what type of exercise you enjoy, you can find something that will strengthen your core.

Core exercise

In this article, we are going to talk about some of the health benefits associated with a strong core as well as take you through several core-strengthening exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home without any gym equipment. But first, let’s learn a little more about why this is all so important.

Why A Strong Core Is Important

No amount of jogging, push-ups, and bicep curls are going to make you fit and strong if you ignore your core. Your core is where it all begins. What’s more, a strong core allows you to perform other activities without injuring yourself.

A weak back, for example, can become strained if you simply bend down and pick a piece of paper off the floor. If you try to lift weights with a weak back, you may end up on the couch for several weeks. For these reasons and more, it should all begin with your core.

The Health Benefits of a Strong Core

There are numerous health benefits of a strong core — too many to mention here. So this is more of a brief, compiled list, but it’s enough for you to understand how vital your core is and how often you actually use it.

You engage your core to perform just about any action that you do, including walking, sitting upright, and coughing. Therefore, a strong core is beneficial even when it comes to normal functions. Following are a few more reasons why a strong core is beneficial.

Improved Posture – Strong core muscles support your spine and surrounding tissues, resulting in great posture. The weaker your muscles are, the more likely you are to slouch. Weak core muscles also increases the chance that you will place wear and tear on your spine from standing, sitting, and walking incorrectly.

Improved Biological Processes – It may be hard to believe, but a strong core improves numerous biological process, including digestion and breathing.

Help Completing Tasks – You use your core to do just about everything, including bending, stooping, lifting, reaching, and twisting. Having a strong core will help you do everything that you need to do in a day better, from bathing to working. Mundane chores, such as sweeping, gardening, and mopping really engage the core muscles. If you don’t have a strong core, you could injure yourself very easily doing everyday tasks.

Improved Balance and Stability – What do you think helps you stand upright on the side of a hill or maintain your footing on bumpy terrain? If you said your core, you’re right. A strong core helps improve balance and stability. You will be able to handle more difficult terrain, and you will trip less often. Strong core muscles are especially important as you get older. They can help you maintain balance and will allow you to stay more active later in life.

Reduced Risk of Injury – About four out of five Americans will have back pain at some point in their life. Some will even endure the symptoms of a chronic back injury for years, maybe even for the rest of their life. One of the best ways to prevent pain and injury is to strengthen your back via targeted core strengthening exercises. A strong core keeps your spine aligned and also prevents muscle strain.

smiling redhead teenage girl doing plank at home

5 Exercises to Strengthen your Core

Now that you know why you need a strong core, it’s time to take steps to get one. Following are five exercises that you can do at home without gym equipment. Feel free to start out slow with just a handful of repetitions at first.

However, your goal should be to get up to about 15 repetitions daily of each of these exercises. You may also want to supplement these exercises with some other types of core-strengthening exercises.

Modified Abdominal Crunch – Lie on your back and place your feet on a wall. Make sure that your knees and hips are at a 90-degree angle. Cross your arms over your chest and tighten your stomach muscles until you bring your head slightly off the floor. Hold for three second. Repeat. Here’s an example:

Bridge – Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your arms at your sides on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your hips off the floor until your hips are aligned with your knees. Hold for three seconds. Repeat. Here’s an example:

Circle Plank – For this one, you’ll need to start in a standard plank position. Make sure your abs are tight. You’ll need to pull the right knee in and then begin to circle it clockwise. Once you do this then you’ll need to circle the right knee counterclockwise. You’ll need to make sure the rest of the body is stationary. You’ll need to repeat this process five times and once finished you then switch to the other leg and repeat again. Here’s an example:

Segmental Rotation – Lie on your back with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Lift your legs up until your knees and hips are at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your legs together, slowly let them fall to the side. Hold for three seconds. Return to the starting position and allow your legs to fall to the other side. Hold for three seconds and repeat. Here’s an example:

Modified Plank – Lie on your stomach, and lift yourself up so that you’re supporting yourself on your forearms and knees. Align your head and neck with your back and make sure your shoulders are even with your elbows. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold for three seconds. Repeat. Here’s an example:

Finding Motivation to Keep Going

These exercises aren’t that hard and don’t take a great deal of time. However, you may still have days when you don’t feel like doing them. To push through the tough days, try changing up the routine a bit or spreading the exercises throughout the day. Five minutes here and five minutes there are better than no minutes at all spent exercising.

Also, be sure to stay as active as possible. Instead of watching TV during your leisure time, take the kids to the park or go for a walk. Everything that you do is going to get you one step closer to your fitness and weight-loss goals. If you’re interested in a detailed, in-depth workout program designed to develop and strengthen the core check this one out. The sales page is a little corny, but the actual program is excellent!