6 Best Core Strengthening Exercises: You Must Try These!
Some exercise to strengthen their arms, some do it to strengthen their legs; but not many know the importance of a strong core. Core muscles include back, obliques, gluteal muscles and the pelvis. A strong core provides a stable platform for your arms and legs to produce effective movement and force. It is where your centre of gravity is located. In order to run, squat, walk and sit, you need strong core muscles. A weak and inflexible core impairs your hand and leg movements and drains your energy. Some of the core muscles, especially the ones located close to your spine are there to provide stability and prevent excessive movement which could impose stress on your spine. And the core muscles visible on the mirror are meant to generate movement. This is why you need a strong, flexible and stable core. One of the best ways to strengthen your core is exercise. In this article, we bring to you 7 core strengthening exercises which will help you strengthen your inner and outer core. Practice 12-15 reps of each exercise and repeat 3 sets of the same.
Here are 6 best core strengthening exercises you must practice regularly.
Planks are the most popular core strengthening exercises of all time. Get into a push-up position and instead of supporting your body on your hands, support them on your forearms. Keep your body at 90 degree angle from the ground and keep it aligned. Hold on to this position for as long as you can. If you are able to hold it for 60 seconds, your core is strong enough. If not, your core needs some work.
2. Side plank
This exercise targets the smaller core muscles which usually get neglected. This core strengthening exercise is slightly tougher than the regular planks so you might find it harder to hold on to this one. Begin with just 10 seconds on one side and then work for longer stretches. Lie down on your right side with your legs straight. Keep your right forearm on the ground so that your body forms a diagonal line. Keep your left arm on your hip and embrace your rib cage and abs. Switch sides. Make sure that your hips and knees do not touch the floor.
Lie down on the ground on your back, keep your legs bent and hands by your side. Pull your abdominal muscles towards the spine and lift your pelvis off the floor. Your pelvis should be in line with your knees and shoulders. Squeeze in your glute muscles to improve stability and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this 10 to 15 times. If you plan to include core strengthening exercises in your fitness regime, bridges is a must for you.
4. Mountain climbers
Start in a press-up position. Make sure that your pelvis is in line with your shoulders and heels. Pull your right knee towards your chest and make sure that your posture remains straight. Then return the right leg to the starting position and repeat the same with the left leg. Alternate the same with both legs and then practice this exercise at a quicker pace. Squeeze your abdomen in while practicing this exercise. It is a powerful core strengthening exercise.
5. Sliding pike
Sliding pike is one of the most popular core strengthening exercises of all time. For this exercise, you need to keep a kitchen towel below your feet on the ground. Start in a plank position and keep the towel below your feet. Keep your legs straight; now push your hips upward and pull your legs close to your chest to come into a pike position. Your feet should be able to slide easily. Hold on to this position for a count and then repeat.
6. Side balance crunch
This one is not an easy core strengthening exercise. For this, begin with your left knee and left hand on the ground. Extent your right arm upwards and your right leg outwards to form a straight line. Now pull your right knee towards the torso and your right hand towards the knee. Straighten your arms and legs. Repeat this 12-15 times and practice 3 sets.