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If You Want a Stronger Core, These Are the Exercises You Need to Do

Posted on July 04 2019

 

Getting a strong core won't happen with hundreds of crunches. In fact, you should stop doing crunches because they aren't good for your back. If you want a strong core, you've got to focus on core stability and being able to activate all your core muscles properly throughout your day-to-day and during exercise. Core stability and strengthening exercises typically aren't the moves that will leave you shaking and dripping sweat, but they're essential to keep you moving at your best.

To achieve stability and core strength, you should do a combination of anterior, posterior, lateral, and rotational core stability exercises. Anterior exercises work your deep core muscles like the transversus abdominis, which helps stabilize your lumbar spine (the lower back) and pelvis. An example of this would be a plank. These moves are necessary because they teach you how to avoid excessive arching of your lumbar spine.

Posterior core stability does the opposite of anterior exercises and teaches you how to avoid excessive rounding of the lumbar spine. Dead lifts and bird dog are two great ways to strengthen your posterior core. Lateral exercises like a side plank keep you from having too much lateral flexion and tipping over. The last movements you should include in your workouts are rotary exercises like chops. These rotational exercises help you resist having too much rotation of the lumbar spine.

Focusing on these four core groups will ensure that you're working all of your core, improve your core strength, and help you move more efficiently. Ahead, you'll find a list of core exercises I recommend you add to your workouts for a strong core. You don't need to do all of these moves in a single workout. Instead, try to include one exercise from each category into your workouts and you'll be good to go!

 

Plank With Knee Tap

This is an anterior core stability exercise that will help prevent excessive arching of the lumbar spine. Adding the knee drop to the plank will force you to stabilize your core more.

  • Start resting on all fours.
  • With your palms flat, raise up off your knees onto your toes. Keep your hands directly below your shoulders.
  • Contract your abs to keep yourself up and prevent your bottom from sticking up. Remember to keep your belly button pulled in.
  • With your head and spine in line, keep your back flat — don't let it curve. Picture your body as a long, straight board.

  • With control, slowly tap your left knee to the ground without moving your hips. Lift your left knee back up, returning to the starting position. Repeat the same movement with the right leg. This completes one rep.

 

Birdog

This is a posterior core exercise that will keep you from rounding your spine too much.

  • Get on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Remember to keep abs engaged and keep your back flat.
  • Reach out with your right hand and extend your left leg out behind you.
  • Round your back and head to connect your right elbow with your left leg under your body. This completes one rep.

 

Side Elbow Plank

This is a lateral core stability exercise that helps you resist lateral flexion. This move will keep you from tipping over.

  • Begin by lying on your side. Bring your right elbow directly under your right shoulder. Engage your core, press your right elbow into the floor, and rise into side elbow plank.
  • Stagger your feet so your left foot is just in front your right, or stack the heels.
  • Reach your left arm up toward the ceiling, which will help you lift your waist.

 

Dead Bug

This is an anterior core stability exercise that will help prevent excessive arching of the lumbar spine.

  • Lie on your back with a neutral spine and your hips and knees at right angles with your palms pressed into your thighs just above your knees.
  • Pull your abs to your spine, keeping your ribs and pelvis still as you lengthen your right arm and leg out until they are almost parallel to the floor. Keep your torso and spine completely stable as the arm and leg move.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat on the left side to complete one rep.

 

Elbow Plank

This is an anterior core stability exercise that will help prevent excessive arching of the lumbar spine.

  • Start face down on the floor resting on your forearms and knees.
  • Push off the floor, raising up off your knees onto your toes and resting mainly on your elbows.
  • Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.

  • Keep your back flat — don't let it droop or you'll be defeating the purpose. Picture your body as a long straight board, or plank.

 

Author: Popsugar


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