13 January 12 Strong to the Core: It's about more than Sit-Ups

It seems that a perennial topic of discussion when it comes to working out is why do ab exercises and how much should we be doing. Not everyone is out to build a chiseled six-pack, but core exercises are extremely important because they can do a lot to help prevent injuries and give us better balance and stability.

Core strength is about getting the muscles around our trunk and pelvis in shape. Through core exercises, you train the muscles around your pelvis, abdomen, lower back and hips to work together. This is what gives you better balance and agility.

In fact, a strong core can make doing nearly any activity easier, from swinging a golf club to household chores. Without good core strength, we tend to have poorer posture, more low back pain and more muscle injuries.

What's nice about core exercises is that you can do them without needing fancy gym equipment. In fact, you can do them in the morning before work, while on your lunch break, or before bed. Here are three different core exercises you can do to improve your strength, balance and posture.

Bridge Pose - Lie on your back with your knees bent while keeping your back in a neutral position - not arching and not pressed into the floor. Do not tilt your hips. Now tighten your abdominal muscles and raise your hips off the floor until your hips are aligned with your knees and shoulders. Hold the position for as long as you can without breaking form.

Plank - Lie face down on a mat while resting on your forearms, with palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up on your toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat. Now tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominal muscles to prevent your trunk from sticking up or sagging in the middle. Hold this pose for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat three to five times.

Bicycle Exercises - Lie face up on a mat, placing your hands behind your head and lightly supporting it with your fingers. Bring your knees in toward your chest while lifting your shoulder blades off the floor - all without pulling on your neck. Now rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow toward the left knee as you straighten the other leg. Now switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee. Continue alternating sides in a pedaling motion for one to three sets of about 15 reps.

Keep these core exercises as part of your regular workout routine and you will notice a difference with your overall strength and balance.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

Tags:

Exercise/Pilates / Yoga / Core

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