Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Strengthen Your Core

The core muscles are your abdominal, lower back and pelvic muscles, these muscles help you maintain stability and posture when doing any kind of physical activity. It is important for your well being that you know how to strengthen your core muscles. The core muscles support your spine, and if you are suffering from any back aches it's probably because of weak core muscles. Some of the core muscles are transverse abdominis, erector spinae, obliques, rectus abdominis and the diaphragm. All the movements that we make are dependent on the core muscles. Many athletes undergo rigorous core strengthening workouts to help them perform better in competitions.

Core Strengthening Exercises

Now that we know the importance of core muscles, let us take a peek at some of the best core exercises. If you don't know how to strengthen your core, following a abs routine will help you target and strengthen the core muscles. Creating a schedule, and following, is the key to any workout routine, so pre-decide the days of the week that you will do core strengthening exercises. It is suggested that you do it at least two times a week.

People cringe and whine at the mere mention of crunches, but it is one of the best core exercises at home to build strength. There are different types of crunches which you could do the strengthen your core muscles.
  • Standard Crunch: Lie down on your back and fold your legs at the knee, keep your feet close to each other. Fold your hands in such a way that your palms support your head. Now raise your body in such a way that your chest touches your thighs. To increase the difficulty level you could do this on an incline bench, ask your trainer or gym partner to sit on your legs when you do it on an incline bench.
  • Reverse Crunches: You could also include reverse crunches in your strength training routine, do 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions. Lie down on your back, and raise your legs, so that you form a 90 degree angle, now pull your thighs towards your chest. If you find it difficult at first keep your hands next to your hips for stability and support. Abdominal exercises are the best way to strengthen your core muscles.
  • Oblique Crunches: Lie down sideways with your knees folded to form a 45 degree angle, both legs should be touching each other. Keep one hand on your chest and the other behind your head, with the elbow pointing towards the ceiling. Now lift your body up trying to touch your legs with the elbow, you should feel your ribs pressing into your body as you go up. Repeat the same motion on the other side, do 15-20 repetitions and 2-3 sets.
Hip Lifts
If you are wondering how to strengthen your core at home, you could do hip lifts along with crunches from the comfort of your home. Lie on your back and raise your legs without bending your knees, so that your feet point to the ceiling. Keep your hands next to your hips and slowly raise your hip, make sure your legs don't fall towards your chest. It is important that you maintain your form and posture throughout the exercise.

One of the fun core exercises for women, sleep on your stomach with your arm extended in front of you. Now raise your left arm and right leg extend, them in such a way that you feel a strain in your abdominal muscles. Repeat the same movement with your right arm and left leg, when you go up try and hold the position for a slow three count.

Heel Touch
If you want to know how to strengthen your core muscles at home try the heel touch. A core exercise for men which will strengthen the oblique muscles, the heel touch is also a good way to improve stability. Bend you knees and lie down on your back, lift your shoulder blades off the ground and touch your left leg heel with your left arm. Repeat the motion with your other arm, do 20-30 repetitions and 3-4 sets.

Now that you know how to strengthen your core, get a little discipline in your routine, and regularly do these exercises. You could also include push ups and bicycle crunches in your routine to strengthen your core.

No comments:

Post a Comment