5 Best Exercises to Strengthen the Core

Getting a great six-pack is usually top for many who start working out. Focusing on having a lean-looking mid-section is one thing, but having strong core muscles is also important. Having core strength is crucial for overall health and performance.

To achieve a strong and lean upper body and core doesn’t necessarily mean hours of crunches, sit-ups, and planks. You can strengthen your core muscles and achieve a tight and lean set of abs with core exercises that target the whole body.

Photo by Andrej Klintsy from Pexels
Photo by Andrej Klintsy from Pexels

Strong core or six-pack?

Building core strength involves more than just having strong abdominal muscles. It involves all of your midsection muscles, such as the external obliques, internal obliques, the internal abdominal wall, and your abs.

Building a strong core is all about strength training that targets the entire upper body instead of only ab exercises. If you want to develop a six-pack on top of that, you’ll not only have to strengthen your core with ab exercises but also make sure your diet supports it.

Abs are created in the gym but revealed through what you do in the kitchen!

Core values 

Your arms and legs can only do so much; most of your body’s power comes from your core muscles. This muscle group helps keep the spine aligned from the base to the top while powering the limbs.

Your trunk muscles and torso keep you stable from the pelvis to the neck and shoulders. This power is transferred to the arms and legs. All-powerful movements originate from the center of the body out and never from the limbs alone.

solid and stable spine is essential for achieving strong, rapid, and controlled limbs’ muscle movements. Achieving overall athletic performance begins with a strong core, and here are some exercises you can do to help achieve it.

5 Exercises for a strong core

These exercises are focused on functional movements. Anyone can do them, whether you’re a skilled athlete or a beginner. Completing all these core exercises should only take about 20 minutes. It is a great way to warm up for more intense workouts while also giving your core a blast!

#1. Plank

To get into plank:

  1. Hold your body up with your forearms and toes only.
  2. Keep your back straight and knees locked, with abdominals engaged.
  3. Do not drop your hips or allow your upper back to sink.
  4. Hold this position for 15 seconds to a minute.
  5. Don’t hold your breath!

To up your plank game, use a pull-up band! Loop the band around the middle of your foot and hold the other side in your hand as you lower yourself into a plank pose. Raise your leg 3 to 5 times as you are in the plank – then change sides.

#2. Side plank

A variation on the plank. 

  1. Start in plank and gradually shift the weight to one arm extended while positioning the upper foot over the lower foot. 
  2. Hold your body stable at a 90-degree angle from the floor.
  3. Once stable, do not allow the hips to sag. 
  4. Hold this position for 15 seconds to a minute, and remember to breathe!

#3. V-sit pose 

Also called ‘boat pose,’ this is a core killer!

  1. Sit on the floor and begin to inhale. 
  2. As you slowly inhale, contract your abs as you lift your legs to a 45-degree angle from the floor. 
  3. Reach your arms forward to keep yourself stable.
  4. Hold this position for 15 seconds to a minute. 
  5. Relax for 20 seconds and repeat for 2 times.

#4. Bicycle crunch

This is like riding a bicycle in the air.

  1. Lay flat down, and press your lower back into the floor.
  2. Place your hands behind your head, and try not to pull on your neck. 
  3. Proceed to bring one knee up to 45-degrees off the floor while keeping the other one straight. 
  4. Move your legs back and forth from 45 degrees to straight and back to 45 degrees (as if peddling an imaginary bike in the air). 
  5. Each time your knee comes up, touch the opposite elbow to that knee. 
  6. Do 10 to 25 reps for each side.

#5. Bridge pose

Great for abs and glutes!

  1. Lay flat on your back as you bend your knees. 
  2. Put your feet flat on the floor, with arms at your side. 
  3. Inhale slowly and tighten both your abs and glutes as you slowly lift your hips towards the ceiling. 
  4. Hold the pose in a straight line for 15 seconds to a minute.

ABS-olutely perfect results

If you’re striving for a six-pack, go for it! With the right amount of dedication in the gym and focus in the kitchen, a washboard set of abs is attainable for most people. However, it is more important for overall health and posture to strengthen your core. Try these simple exercises a few times a week!

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