Core exercises are not just for people who want beautiful abs. They’re for everyone who wants to maintain good posture or do simple things, like carrying their groceries, moving furniture, or lifting their objects with ease. Having a strong core improves your balance, stability, and ability to do physical activities.
If you experience back pain regularly, training your core muscles can also reduce your aches and discomfort. Many athletes also use a special kinesiology tape while exercising, training, or playing to prevent injury, increase performance, and encourage muscle recovery.
Strengthening your core doesn’t need specialized equipment or complex routines and offers many benefits. If you want to develop strong core muscles, here are some simple exercises you can do at home.
The plank targets your abdominals and core muscles. It’s supereasy to do and requires no equipment. Anyone can do a plank, but holding one for a few minutes takes some practice. The plank exercise also has tons of variations you can try when you need or want a challenging workout.
What You Need: a mat
How to Do a Plank Exercise:
- Start by going into the plank position. Face down with your forearms and toes on the floor, carrying some of your weight. Your elbows should be straight and in line with your shoulders and your head down.
- Maintain a straight back. Keep your hips and knees from drooping and your shoulders from going up to your ears. You know you’re doing it right when you can feel the strain of carrying the weight in your center.
- Hold this position for as long as you can: 10, 30, or 60 seconds.
- Increase the duration once you can hold a plank with ease with your usual time.
Superman exercise targets your abdominals and lower back. It can be done by anyone, including beginners, as long as they’re not advised against doing physical activities in which you need to lie on their stomach. This workout is excellent for improving abdominal strength.
What You Need: a mat
How to Do a Superman Exercise:
- Begin by lying facedown on your stomach on the mat.
- Stretch out your arms in front of you, and extend your legs.
- Raise your arms and legs together, like Superman’s flying pose.
- Hold the position for one to a few seconds before resuming the resting pose. If you feel neck pain, you can keep your head closer to the ground.
- Repeats these steps 10 to 15 times. Increase the number of repetitions over time.
- You can also increase the challenge by doing an alternate Superman.
- Instead of raising both arms and legs, raise the opposite arm and leg.
- Raise the right arm with the left leg; the left arm, with the right leg.
- Repeat and increase the number of repetitions when you get used to your previous record.
If you’ve ever seen a dead bug before, then you’ll understand where the name of this exercise comes from. Don’t be fooled by the ridiculous name, though. The dead-bug exercise is a simple exercise that’s highly effective in strengthening your abs, lower back, and pelvic muscles without stressing your lower back like sit-ups do.
What You Need: a mat or balance trainer
How to Do a Dead-Bug Exercise:
- Lie on your back on a mat or balance trainer. If you’re using a balance trainer, sit with your hips at the center of the ball. Slowly lie down and find your balance.
- Extend your knees upward, then bend them at a 90-degree angle. At the same time, stretch your arms forward.
- Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. Relax, then repeat a few times.
- To raise the difficulty, start with your knees bent at 90 degrees and arms stretched forward.
- Slowly lower the opposite leg, then stretch it out while extending the opposite arm upward. Brace your core, and keep your body straight.
- Balance in this position for a few seconds, then do the previous step with your other arm and leg.
- Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Before You Go
Whether you want picture-perfect abs or not, building up a strong body is vital to stay fit, avoid injury and pain, and make life easier for yourself. When you do any physical labor, your body draws power from your core. Doing heavy lifting with a weak core will result in muscle strain or injury.