Your core is the center of all your bodily movements. Having a strong core has a lot of benefits including better posture and balance. It can also reduce back pain and all of your movements will be more efficient – meaning your body will have to exert minimal energy for even intensive movements. And the good thing is that you don’t always have to visit a gym and train under an instructor to strengthen your core muscles. Here The Week brings you three easy exercises you can do at home that will help strengthen your core muscles.
A simple exercise that engages a lot of muscles in your body and toughens your abs, back muscles and core, plank creates tension in your gluteus muscles and hamstrings and increases the endurance of your whole body. You can also add little movements or do side-planks to try something a little harder.
Start out by placing your forearm on the floor – in a way that your elbows are directly underneath your shoulders, hands facing ahead – and straighten out your legs. Lift your body off the floor and form a straight life from your shoulders to your ankles with only your forearms and toes supporting your weight. Hold this position for as long as possible. Push yourself a little more everyday to hold this position for longer.
A lot of people tend to use their hips and thigh muscles, instead of their core, to perform exercises like sit-ups. This is why you should try butterfly sit-ups to avoid that mistake before you move on to actual sit-ups. Placing your legs in a (lifted) butterfly position will not allow you to use your hip or thigh muscles and you will complete your sit-ups with a perfect posture.
Lie on your back, bend your knees a little – pointing away from each other – while keeping your ankles together. Stretch your arms above your head and pull yourself upwards just using your core strength – keeping the knees bent and ankles touching. Once your fingers touch your feet, roll back down on your back. Repeat this at least 12-15 times.
The dead bug isn’t the most intense exercise but doing enough repetitions of it regularly will guarantee you lean abs and a stronger core in just a few weeks’ time. You won’t necessarily feel your muscles burn during this exercise but if you follow the instructions properly, the exercise will still have the desired effect on your core.
Lie down on your back and raise your legs bending your knees – your knees should be right above your hips. Also keeps your arms raised straight up – this is the starting position for the dead bug. Now stretch one of your legs until it’s completely straight (keeping it raised) while simultaneously stretching the opposite arm above your head. Bring both your arm and leg to the starting position and repeat it using the other set of limbs. Engage your core and keep your lower back on the ground throughout this exercise.