Best exercises for core
There are so many benefits of having a strong core, including good posture, decreased muscle imbalances, improved sports performance, improved hip stability and joint mobility, stronger lower back, and injury prevention, just to name a few.
Here are a few our favourite exercises for core work.
A strong core relies on strong glutes. If your glutes are not working or contracting effectively, it will be much harder to support the abs during core strengthening exercises. Glute bridges, when performed correctly, are a great addition to core training to improve strength and stability.
Dead Bugs are the most basic, safe and easy core exercise for beginners. Dead bugs are a great way to build core strength and stabilisation, whilst protecting the lower back and spine.
Leg raises are a simple and super effective in targeting the lower abs, which are often tricky to reach and tone with exercises like crunches and planks. When performing leg raises, remember that your lower back must remain on the ground. If you feel your back begin to arch as you lower your legs closer to the ground, lift your legs back up to starting position. As your core strength increases, you will be able to drop your feet lower to the ground.
If you are looking to work and strengthen your core, bicycle crunches are an effective choice. This exercise is great for the obliques or side abs, helping to tone the waistline while improving stability and flexibility. Aim to get your elbow to the opposite knee, but if you can't - that's ok! Simply focus on working through the muscles as you twist your body to the side.
Planks are a great core exercise that will help improve core strength and stability. The bonus with planks is they don’t just work your core - they are a whole body exercise! Try not to focus on how long you can hold the plank, but more so on how to keep perfect technique. Keep your neck and spine neutral, push you heels away from your body, draw your belly up and in, squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulder blades into your back pockets.
We work the core a lot in our FIIT30 sessions. Find out more here.