Health & Nutrition

5 exercises to strengthen your core

strengthen-your-core-leg-raisesA strong core is vital for the betterment of your bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissue. Every movement your body makes is either enhanced by the use of these muscles or becomes difficult if your core is not exercised correctly. If you suffer from weak core muscles, you put yourself at risk for a number of serious illnesses like chronic lower back pain. So work those abs and reap the benefits.

Here are five exercises that you should try to strengthen that midriff and if done carefully:-

1. Stomach Crunches

This exercise is the most effective way to whittle your middle and build a more muscular abdominal core. Lie down on an exercise mat; lift your legs in the air and fold them at a 90 degree angle. Bring your upper body off the mat to meet your knees and lie back down.

strengthen-your-core-crunches

Do several repetitions of these stomach crunches or sit-ups. If this is too intensive or you’re a beginner, do variations of this exercise by leaving your legs flat on the mat and lifting your upper body up to where your knees would be.

2. Bridge Exercises

Lay flat on your exercise mat. Utilise the strength of your pelvic muscles to lift your back as far off the floor as possible. Your arms should be positioned by your side and kept firmly on the floor while your midsection is raised.

strengthen-your-core-bridge-exercise

3. Side Plank Exercises

Get on your side and support your body with the support of one arm. Your body should be in the shape of a ‘T’. Hold this position for 10-15 second while inhaling and exhaling slowly before coming back to the starting position slowly.

strengthen-your-core-side-plank

Then begin again, but this time with alternate arms. This will not only enhance the health of your abdominal muscles, but it will also contribute some muscle gain to your upper body as well.

4. Leg Raise Exercises

Lie on your exercise mat and keep your upper body firmly flat on the floor. Slowly lift your legs up as far as you can and keep them close together. Cross your feet if that will help. You will feel the muscles in your core stretch and contract. Be mindful of your breathing patterns – make sure you breathe slowly.

strengthen-your-core-leg-raises

5. Standing Side Stretch

Stand with your feet apart. Bend at the waist to your right side while raising your left arm over your head. Do not strain just bend as much to the side as your body will naturally and comfortably allow.

strengthen-your-core-standing-side-stretch

Come back to starting position and switch sides. You can also do this sitting on an exercise ball as well, for double the core strengthening action.

By improving the muscles at your core, all of your physical activities will become easier to perform. Your mind will also benefit psychologically from your new toned core.