Your core muscles are one of the most important group of muscles in your body. Your core is at the crux of everything you do, from your day-to-day activities, to your athletic pursuits.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia it says “In anatomy, the core refers, in its most general of definitions, to the body minus the legs and arms.(1) Functional movements are highly dependent on the core, and lack of core development can result in a predisposition to injury.(2) The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back (not the shoulders),.
Your core are the muscles in your abdominals, lower back, and glutes. Many people think the core refers to only the abdominal muscles.
- The rectus abdominis: One big sheet of muscle tissue that runs from your breastbone down to your pelvis.
- The external obliques: Run from your ribs to your hips in a forward direction.
- The internal obliques: Run from your ribs to your hips in a backwards direction
- The transverses abdominis: Located deep in your abs, underneath the obliques
But they’re so much more. They include the muscles of your lower back, your pelvic floor, and your hips.
Your core provides you with stability, power, and endurance. Developing a strong core is essential to maintaining good physical condition. Core muscles that are weak can contribute to poor posture, injuries and pain in the lower back. It’s the foundation for all of your body’s movements. Whether you’re running, lifting weights or picking up your child, these ‘core’ muscles help keep your body stable and balanced.
There is a variety of exercises that you can perform to develop a strong core. Core Exercises are the key to a strong core and abs. Here are some of the best core exercises designed to build your strong defined core muscles while also strengthening other parts of your body.
First my favourite two exercise.
The plank works your entire core and upper- and lower-body muscles. Lie down on your stomach. Lift your body off the floor with your forearms (elbows at 90° degrees) and your toes. Keep your body in a straight position (without arching your back) and hold for 30 seconds to one minute. Lift one foot in the air for added difficulty.
Reverse Push Up
A reverse pushup will work your abs really hard.
Lower your body down into a pushup, but instead of pressing up, bend your knees and press your body backward, almost scraping the floor with your nose. Then dig your toes into the floor to explosively blast back into a pushup position.
Here are some other terrific exercises for your core
This works the core, chest and biceps. Lower your body down into a pushup, but instead of pressing up, stay rigid while squeezing your abdominal muscles as though you’re trying to force them towards your back. Keep your body in this position and hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
Lie on your side with your forearm on the floor under your shoulder to prop you up, and your feet stacked. Contract your core and press your forearm against the floor to raise your hips until your body is straight from ankles to shoulders. Hold for 15 to 45 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Contract your abs and butt muscles forcefully to keep your body straight.
Lie with your knees bent and your arms and heels on the floor. Push down through your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your body into a straight line from knees to shoulders. Next, bring a knee toward your chest. Reverse the move, then repeat with your other leg. That’s one rep. Don’t allow your hips to sag at any time during the movement.
This targets your abdominal muscles and improves your balance. Lie on your back and bend at the waist as you extend your legs and arms into the air to form a “V.” Hold this position for as long as you can.
This is one of the most effective crunch workouts, as it hits all of your stomach muscle fibers at once. Assume a standard crunch position, raise your torso to a 45° angle, and then twist from side to side. For an advanced movement, extend your legs and pretend to peddle a bicycle while you continue to twist.
Lie on your back with your legs extended straight up. Keeping your legs straight, lower your left leg until your foot is 2 to 3 inches off the floor. Return to the starting position, then repeat with your right leg; that’s one repetition. Think about pushing the bottom of your heel away from your hip as you lower your leg. Don’t point your toes; keep your foot flexed toward you. Lead with your heel.
Supermans with a twist
Perform a standard Superman: Lie down on your stomach and raise your torso off the floor with your arms extended in front of you (beginners may place their hands behind their head). Here’s the twist: At the top of the raise, twist to one side, return to the center and twist to the other side. Lower your torso to the ground to complete one rep. Hold a two- to five-pound weight for a more advanced movement.
To work various core muscles in combination, try a bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your back in a neutral position, not arched and not pressed into the floor. Avoid tilting your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Raise your hips off the floor until your hips are aligned with your knees and shoulders . Hold for 30 seconds. Return to the start position and repeat.
Give these core exercises a try, you know you and your body deserve it.