Your core is probably the most important section of your body. It is used every day, in almost every activity. So, it’s absolutely necessary to work it. There are many muscles in the core region, the main ones being- the rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques and the transverse abdominus. These work with a bunch of smaller muscles to support and stabilize your spine and your pelvis.
When working your core out, a simple set of abs crunches is not sufficient. Here are five exercises that will target all the main muscles of your core.
Perform these without a break in between. Finish all the five, take a one-minute break and move on to the second set, then take another break of one minute and move on to the third set.
There are many variations to the plank. This is one exercise that really helps stabilize the core and strengthen it deeply.
Start off by keeping your palms directly underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Now, stretch your your legs so that they are straight. Keep your feet together all through this.
You’re now in a push up starting position. Make sure that you keep your core engaged. Keep sucking your tummy in as if someone is pulling you up from your back. Hold this position for a minute and if you want to challenge yourself take it to 75 seconds.
2. Forearm Side Plank
Lie on the left side of your body and prop yourself up using your left elbow so that you’re almost sitting.
Make sure that your elbow is directly under your shoulder. Keep your knees soft (don’t keep them too straight) and your feet flexed.
Now, contract the left side of your torso so that you can lift your hips off the floor, keeping in line with your feet and shoulders. Repeat this 10 times.
3. Reverse Oblique Crunches
Lie down on your back and keep your legs up and slightly bent. Keep your hands to your sides with your palms facing down.
Contract your torso and lift your hips up. Twist them to the right and put pressure on the right side of your torso. Hold for a few seconds. Then release and repeat the same on the left side. That’s one rep. Do this 10 times on alternating sides.
4. Dumbbell Chop
You can use a three or a five kg dumbell for this exercise.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and keep your knees slightly bent. Keep your core engaged and tight.
Extend your arms and take them over your right shoulder, in such a way that you twist your torso to the right side slightly. Ensure that you activate the muscles of your core and then bring the dumbbell down to your left knee.
Take a break for a moment, tighten your core and with controlled action repeat the entire move. Do 15 such reps on each side.
5. Hip Crossover
Lie down on the floor and keep your legs up. Bend your knees at 90 degrees directly above your hips. Stretch your arms out next to your shoulders and turn your palms upward.
Tighten your torso and keep your legs pressed together .With control, bend over to the right, lowering your legs too and feel a good pressure mounting up in your core. Make sure that your left shoulder does not go off the floor. Now, use your core and lift your legs up back to the starting position. Repeat the same thing on your left too. That makes it one rep. Do 10 such reps.