Hear ye, hear ye! Did you know that having a solid core doesn’t just mean you look hot when you’re rocking your bikini. There’s actual health benefits to working out your tum!
Your ab muscles are the stabilisers of the body, they not only allow you to move, they also protect all your insides, and in short, are super-important.
Whilst you might not have a personal trainer just yet, we thought we’d share with you some exercises you can do just about anywhere.
Here’s the run-down of how having a strong core can benefit you;
- It can help you prevent injuries during exercise,
- Having a strong core protects your organs and all your other insides,
- You’re less likely to suffer from back pain,
- You’ll start to stand taller, stronger, and with a more confident posture,
- Mentally, you’ll feel better about your body,
Your core should be a part of your focus when putting together a fitness routine. We’ve put together a list of some of the best exercises to help you build them core muscles up, and have you reaping the benefits sooner.
One of the most effective exercises for strengthening your core, planking uses gravity and your own body weight against you. This can be a little difficult at first if you’re new to it, however over time you’ll get stronger, and you’ll be able to hold this position longer.
- Place your elbows directly beneath your shoulders, with your legs extended,
- Push your heels back to the point at which you feel a little stretch in your calves,
- Squeeze your abs and your glutes and hold your body parallel to the floor,
- Hold this position for 45 seconds – 1 minute, do three sets.
The reverse crunch is a brilliant movement that can help you improve your stability, in your hips, spine and lower back.
What makes it so unique is the ability to protect your back and enable a greater range of motion, whilst placing more stress on your abdominal muscles.
- Lie on your back, place your knees together, and bend your legs to keep your feet planted on the floor,
- Place your palms face down on the floor to provide you with additional support,
- Tighten your abs and lift your hips as you bring your knees to your chest.
- Pause at the top of the crunch movement
Hollow Body Hold
For all you budding gymnasts, you may be familiar with the Hollow Body Hold. A brilliant exercise that can be practiced anywhere, this movement is perfect for building up your core strength.
- Lie on your back flat and squeeze your abs to pull your belly button closer to the floor,
- Keep your arms and legs straight and stretch out, pointing your toes,
- Raise your legs and arms slowly away from the floor, raising your head and shoulders at the same time,
- Keep your back in contact with the floor,
- The aim is to hold your arms and legs in the lowest position possible, without your lower back leaving the floor.
Dead bug is exactly what it says on the tin. You’ll look like an upside down woodlouse, but we guarantee you’ll feel the burn.
They’re definitely not an easy movement, but no pain no gain right?
- Lie on your back and put your arms out in front of your shoulders,
- Bend your knees and hips to a 90-degree angle and squeeze your abs, pushing your lower back into the floor,
- Take a large breath in and as you exhale slowly bring your right arm up and extend your left leg towards the floor,
- Keep your ab muscles tight and keep your lower back flat in contact with the floor,
- Steadily return to the starting position and repeat with your opposite arm and leg,
- Keep alternating your limbs with each rep,
Hanging Leg Raises
To carry out this move you’ll need something to hang from. You can use a chin-up bar, a tree branch, or a really tall friend.
We’d recommend a local park, but if you can’t find anything to hang on to, just do another set of one of the other 4 workouts.
- Grab hold of your bar/branch/friend using a slightly wider than shoulder-width, overhand grip,
- Raise your legs by flexing your knees and hips, until your knees are well above your hips,
- Slowly return your legs back to the starting position and repeat.
If you’d like to add more to your workouts and maximise your efforts, we are fully qualified personal trainers and we can tailor your workout program to suit your goals.
Get in touch today to enquire about our PT sessions, or check our prices for yourself here.