Before my injury, I was working out six days a week, doing everything from running to HIIT classes to hot yoga. Now that I’m taking time off from my regular routine, my body feels as if it’s in shock. Suddenly body parts I thought were strong are starting to feel weak.
When I was at the gym working on my legs recently, I realized that I really need to strengthen my core. If my core muscles are strong, I know it will also benefit me as I exercise the rest of my body.
Below, I’ve shared my three favorite core exercises, so you can try them the next time you hit the gym.
While you’re doing the moves, focus on tightening your transversus abdominis (that’s the deepest of the four abdominal muscles) to help chisel that six pack.
You can make the simple move a bit more challenging by removing a contact point from the floor such as raising one of your feet above the ground.
Once in plank pose (don’t forget to keep your spine in a neutral position and that butt down!), raise one foot off the ground and hold it for 15 to 30 seconds, keeping completely still. Next, raise the other one for the same amount of time.
If you can keep going, alternate legs every five to ten seconds.
This move targets the small core muscles. Start out with short holds of ten seconds on each side. If that’s too easy for you, try doing it for up to 30 seconds on each side.
Don’t underestimate these—they will definitely make you sore! They’ll also help you improve your posture.
Start by lying on the ground in classic crunch position. Lift your feet up and your knees to your chest and perform a crunch. Next, lower your knees and feet, stopping when your feet are right above the ground. That’s one.
Be sure to keep your core tight as if someone is going to jab you in the stomach.