'Plank' helps build abdominal muscles and strengthens the core. The 'Bicycles' routine works the abs and oblique muscles. The 'Superman Hold' strengthens the lower back and the glutes. 'Glute Bridges' activates the glutes and lower back muscles. 'Flutter Kicks' targets the lower abs. 'Side Plank' targets the oblique muscles and strengthens the core.
Having a strong core will increase your strength, balance and even posture. In fact, a strong core will literally improve your life. You see, we use the core in almost every movement – walking, running, picking up things and so on. The muscles that make up the core include: abs, the back, oblique muscles and the glutes. Here are the only 6 exercises for a strong core.
1. The Plank
This exercise will build the abdominal muscles and strengthen the core. To perform the plank:
- Lie flat on your stomach then place your forearms on the floor.
- Lift the body off the floor and keep the elbows directly below the shoulders.
- Tighten the core, squeeze the glutes and keep the torso and feet aligned in a straight line.
- Hold that position for as long as you can.
This exercise works the abs and the oblique muscles. To perform bicycles:
- Lie flat on your back, place arms on the ears then lift both feet slightly off the floor.
- Now, bend one knee and raise it until it touches the opposite elbow.
- Then return it to starting position and raise the other leg to touch the opposite elbow.
- Keep alternating the legs.
The superman hold strengthens the lower back and the glutes. To perform this exercise:
- Lie flat on your stomach.
- Lift your feet off the floor as high as you can.
- Then outstretch the arms forward and lift the chest off the floor (only the stomach and hips should touch the floor).
- Now squeeze the glutes and hold that position as long as you can.
4. Glute Bridges
This exercise activates the glutes and lower back muscles. It also helps get rid of lower back pain. To perform the glutebridges:
- Lie flat on your back, place hands on the side.
- Then bend the knees until the heels almost touch the butt.
- Now lift your hips off the floor as high as you can and squeeze the glutes at the top for 2 seconds.
- Slowly lower your butt to the floor and repeat the movement.
5. Flutter Kicks
This exercise targets the lower abs. To perform flutter kicks:
- Lie flat on your back then place your hands under the butt.
- Lift both feet slightly off the floor and then raise one foot 45 degrees high and lower it to starting position.
- Lift the other foot then lower it.
- Keep alternating the legs.
6. Side Plank
This plank variation targets the oblique muscles. To perform the side plank:
- Lie on one side, place the elbow on the floor and then lift the hips off the floor.
- Keep the body aligned in a straight line and squeeze the glutes throughout.
- Lie on the other side and hold the plank for the same period of time.