Four simple core strengthening exercises

Crunches and sit ups are widely known to give you that beach body six pack. Strengthening your core can also greatly help your running form and efficiency , which will make tackling that extra hill, or pushing the last mile to the finish line a breeze. But getting a strong core encompasses more than just having front abdominal strength.

Here are 4 simple workouts that will make your core stronger than ever.

Bridge

Bridge pose

Start by lying on your back on a well cushioned surface with your arms flat beside you and your feet firmly on the ground about hip width apart.

Engage your core and glutes, and slowly let out a breath while pushing your hips toward the ceiling. Be careful to keep you legs parallel to each other not letting them splay.

Hold the top position for one second and then slowly drop back to the floor while breathing in.

Repeat the bridge exercise for 25 continuous reps for one set. A workout can consist of 1-3 sets depending on fitness level.

Plank

Not unlike the full plank commonly found in yoga, the plank is great for targeting the entire core all at once.

Mimicking the picture of Josh above, position yourself with only your toes and forearms in contact with the ground. Keep your head, bottom, back, and legs straight as an arrow.

Try to hold this position for at least a minute, if you are feeling good hold for longer.

You can add variations to the plank such as lifting one leg at a time

Or push the limit by holding BOTH legs up at the same time.

(Not recommended)

Side Plank

Starting in a plank position roll to your side, balancing on one forearm and the side of your foot like the photo of Andrew above. Try to hold for a minute or longer. Do an equal amount on each side for maximum results.

Russian Twists

Start by sitting down on a soft surface. Cross one leg over the other and lift both legs off the ground; keeping your core tight balance on your rear.

Holding your arms up, begin twisting your entire torso left to right, stay in control of your movements and do 25 twists to each side of your body for a set. 2-5 sets for an entire workout.

When this begins to feel easy you can add weight. Any kind of weight will do, even if it is a house hold object.

(Benches not recommended)

Doing these exercises once or twice a week will make you a well rounded athlete. You can add variations or add more repetitions as you become stronger. You can get a great core work out in the comfort of your own home. And yes, this will help you achieve that beach body six pack.

 

 

Results may vary

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