Want fit core muscles but don’t know how to get them? Here are a few ways to keep those abs tight and strong.
5 Ab Exercises to Strengthen the Core
Forget the six-pack – there are better reasons to work strengthen the core muscles!
Whether summer is around the corner or not, it is important to work out your core muscles. Besides helping you maintain good posture, core muscles will help your movements in other physical activities that you might partake in. As usual, the most important thing to keep in mind while doing these exercises is form, so start slow and make sure that you make the correct movements. Once you’ve nailed these down, you can start to speed up and aim for higher reps.
1) The Crunch
Many people know of the crunch as a little sit up. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth – the sit up will work your hip muscles more than your abs.. When you’re doing a crunch, keep in mind that you are lifting your head with your shoulders upwards off the floor, as far as you can go. Don’t just nod your head, either: you’ll basically be working your neck muscles and not your core.
2) The Cycle
This is a simple movement. Lie on the floor, and lift your legs up. With your shoulders off the floor, hands behind your ears and elbows back, bend one leg while twisting to meet its knee with the opposite elbow. Ensure you are not just twisting your back.
3) The Plank
You might remember being asked to do these in high school…if so, this exercise will bring back many nightmares. Nevertheless, it’s a great abdominal exercise that will keep your core tight. Face the floor on your elbows and feet, keeping your back straight and tensing your core muscles. Hold this position for as long as you can.
4) The Superman
Lie face down on the floor with arms outstretched in front of you and legs straight behind. For intervals of 3 seconds, simultaneously lift your arms and legs off the floor. That’s one rep, so repeat it as much as necessary.
5) Leg Lifts
While lying on the floor, keep your legs straight as you lift them up to an angle of 30, 60, or 90 degrees. Repeat as much as necessary.
It’s important to reiterate that you should use slow, controlled movements in doing these exercises so that you can nail the form down. Opt for lower numbers of reps for each set until you’re sure that you can get these down pat. If in doubt, check with your personal trainer.
About the author:
Sarah Paige loves to exercise, whether at the gym, at home, or at her jujitsu classes. She trusts her trainer who has obtained her qualifications from the Australian Fitness Network.