Some people have difficulty getting six-packs, and others have trouble believing that abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym, but this doesn’t downplay the importance of exercising and strengthening the core. Having strong muscles in your abs and back make it easier for you to do everyday tasks; from lifting your kids (and pets) to carrying your groceries.
A solid core can also help you to maintain good posture and prevent back pain. As important as exercising the core is, crunches are boring. Keep reading to find out five great exercises you can use to strengthen your core.
Knee Fold Tuck
Start out by sitting tall with your hands on the floor and your knees bent with a medicine ball squeezed between your knees. Next, lift your knees so that your shins are parallel to the floor and extend your arms. Keep your upper body still as you pull your knees in towards your shoulders. Bring your knees back to the starting position to complete the exercise. This exercise should be repeated 15-20 times for best results.
Don’t let the name of the exercise fool you; there’s actually no rope climbing involved here. This is something you can do from the comfort of your own home. Start out by sitting with your legs extended and your feet turned out in a V position with pointed toes. Next contract your core muscles and roll your spine into a C-curve. Then lift your arms and move them up, as if you were climbing up a rope. Make a small twist each time you reach up. Complete the exercise 20 times for reach arm.
Side Balance Crunch
Crunches do suck, but there are some that are some variations that are effective and less boring than a traditional crunch, such as the side balance crunch. Start this move with your left knee and left hand placed on the floor, with your right arm held straight up. Extend your leg to create a straight line with your body. Then pull your right knee towards your torso and your right elbow towards your knee. Finally straighten your arm and leg before repeating the exercise 10 times for each side.
Planks are considered to be up there with crunches when it comes to effective core exercises. There are plenty of variations on the plank out there, with the circle plank being one of the best. Start out by assuming the regular plank position with your abs tight. Bring in your right knee and rotate it in a clockwise circle, and then rotate it counter-clockwise while keeping the rest of your body stationary. Repeat the exercise five times before switching legs and doing the same for the other leg.
Start the sliding pike by beginning in the plank position on an uncarpeted floor, with your hands under your shoulders and a towel under your feet. Keep your legs straight as you raise your hips and draw your legs into a pike position. It should be easy to slide your feet thanks to the towel and lack of carpet. Hold the position for a count of one before bringing yourself back down into the starting position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.