Your body’s core — the area around your trunk and pelvis — is where your center of gravity is located. When you have good core stability, the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen work in harmony. They provide support to your spine for just about any activity.
A weak core can make you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries. Strong core muscles provide the brace of support needed to help prevent such pain and injury.
Now we don’t have to spend hours and hours training in the gym to have a strong midsection, but having a “tough tummy” is key for overall flexibility and strength, and strong abs provide an immense advantage when it comes to overall health.
There is no need to rearrange your day planner to begin building trunk strength. Noticeable abdominal muscle can be built in as little as a few minutes a day on a consistent basis. By following a few simple moves, 2-3 times per week, you can successfully build your core and begin to see the results in no time.
Here are a few favorites:
The Plank or Hover, is ranked in the Top 10 exercises for abs by the American Council on Exercise. Not only does the move strengthen your abs, but your back gets a nice workout as well.
- esting on the forearms, either crossing your hands or with your palms flat on the floor.
- to toes and resting on the elbows.
- t line from head to heels.
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- and repeat 3 times
Not only does this rotating ab exercise work the rectus abdominus (fancy name for ‘six pack’), it works the obliques (side ab muscles) to ward off back pain and posture problems. Plus, your improved posture, made possible through strong obliques, gives your figure a slimming effect.
1. Lie face up on a mat or floor, finger tips behind head with elbows wide
2. Hold right leg at 45 angle above floor, and bend left knee bent to chest
3. At the same time turn your upper body to the right, left shoulder aims for right knee
4. Repeat other side bringing right elbow towards left knee.
5. Continue the alternation ‘pedaling’ like a bicycle for 12-16 reps.
Crunch on Resistance Ball
This basic crunch can be done on the floor, but wait until you feel the work your abs must do to stabilize your upper body on this $15 inflatable ball.
- h thighs parallel to floor, fingertips behind head, elbows wide
- e lifting upper body towards hips
Just because the core is getting lots of attention, doesn’t mean we can neglect the other valuable parts of our body. Core is king when it comes to strong centers, but good body balance is key to overall health and wellness.