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If you’re hitting the gym with the fitness goal of improving your core strength but you're not sure where to start, then you've come to the right place!

The term ‘core’ is often associated with the abs but your core is actually composed of a group of muscles that control movement and it’s where your body’s centre of gravity is located. These muscles are your abdominal wall, back muscles (latissimus dorsi and back extensors) and your psoas (hip flexors) muscles. These are the muscles that you can focus on when you are trying to build your core strength.

Benefits of having a strong core

A firm and strong core often has many benefits, including:

  • Good posture
  • Decreased muscle imbalances
  • Improved sports performance
  • Improved hip stability and joint mobility
  • Strong lower back 
  • Injury prevention

How to train your core

When doing your ab and core workouts, always remember to hit all parts of your torso, namely the rectus abdominis, transverse abs and your obliques. Perform at least one or two exercises per movement for a few reps or seconds.

Here are some exercises that are great for your abs and core. We always advise performing new exercises or workouts under the guidance of a personal trainer or fitness professional. 

Plank

  1. Start on all fours, leaning on the elbows with palms face down, the forearms vertical.
  2. Extend the legs behind you, creating a straight line from your head to your toes. Brace the abs to hold the position.

Swiss ball v-sit crunch

  1. Lay down on your back with your arms stretched out above your head holding the Swiss ball and your legs straight.
  2. Tilt your pelvis to place your lower back on the floor and activate your core. Simultaneously raise your arms and legs to form a v shape with your body, place the ball in between your shins and lower your upper and lower body back towards the floor.  Repeat the movement and place the ball back into your hands and lower to the floor.

Russian twist

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.  Hold the medicine ball at chest height.
  2. Pull your core in and lean slightly back holding the ball at chest height.
  3. Rotate your torso taking the medicine ball towards the floor. Keep your eyes on the ball at all times and maintain a straight spine.

For more abs and core workouts like these, check out our MyFernwood online hub. Not a member yet? Sign up now.

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