Core strength is something a lot of people neglect
Or don’t think much about.
The thing is,
Maintaining strength in your arms, chest, back and legs is always important, of course,
Everyone knows that.
But what you may not realize is that having a strong core — torso; abdominal muscles — is not so much about having a lean, pretty, six-pack midsection, although that could be a bonus.
What it’s really about is the fact that the muscles in your core — traverse abdominis (TVA), erector spinae, obliques, lower lats — connect to everything else and serve to stabilize the entire body. When these muscles are weak, problems can result. Things like lower back pain are common, and also issues with balance.
So, here are a few exercises you can do at home to strengthen the ol’ core muscles:
- Stomach crunches: old-fashioned sit-ups are fine, but crunches may be better, and easier on your back. Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest, tuck your chin and raise your shoulders/upper back off the ground, feeling a squeeze in your midsection. A few inches off the ground is fine. You’re not going to sit all the way up. Return to starting position and repeat for one set of 10-12 repetitions. That may be enough at first, but try for two sets, if you can, and increase number of sets and repetitions over time.
- Glute bridge: this one is a great exercise that also works the rear end and thigh muscles. Start in the same position as a crunch, with hands at your sides, palms down on the floor. Raise your hips until your thighs and upper body are in alignment (a straight line). Hold for 10 seconds, lower yourself back to the ground, and repeat 10 times. Do one set and try for 2 if you can.
- Flutter kicks: also called scissor kicks, as shown in the image below. Legs extended, feet just off the floor. Raise left feet and then right foot, continuing to alternate for 10 repetitions each leg. Rest and repeat.
There ya go.
A few great exercises to help strengthen that core.
You can do it!