Effective Workouts For Strengthening Your Core Muscles

Your core muscles comprise of your abs, pelvic floor, hamstrings, diaphragm etc, basically all the muscles located in your torso. These muscles work together to maintain stabilization and balance in the body. Strong core muscles improves flexibility, strength and endurance, making everyday activities easier and workouts more effective. Weak core muscles result in bad posture (slouching, hump backs etc), which put pressure on the muscles resulting in multiple health risks.

Here are some exercises you could do to strengthen your muscles(without any specialized instruments) and enjoy a better quality of life.

1. Crunches

There’s the vertical leg crunch, reverse crunch, in and out crunch etc. All these exercises target the muscles in your midsection but still activate other minor muscles.

Regular crunches are done by lying flat on an even, comfortable surface, with your knees bent, feet close together and flat on the surface, right below your knees. Now with your hands behind your head, activate your abdominal muscles and try to use them to lift your upper body till your head reaches your knees and slowly go back down. Repeat 5-10 daily.

2. Plank

These target mainly your ab muscles and lower back. Its done by lying face down on an even surface, preferably a mat, with feet and arms propped up for support. Arms should be directly below your shoulders and the body should be aligned in a straight manner. You hold up the position for a few minutes and repeat a couple of times. If the position is too strenuous for you, you could lower knees, which would ease the pressure.

3. Oblique crunch

This targets the oblique muscles. Its done by lying flat on the floor with knees bent together and hands behind the head. Now roll your knees to the side and raise your head about three inches above the ground. Hold up the position for a few minutes and slowly lower back down.

4. Side Plank

This activates your lower back and core muscles. Its done by lying on your side with your elbow propped up, directly below your shoulder. With your hips raised and legs straightened, try to keep your body aligned. Keep this position for a few seconds and repeat 5-10 times. You could lower your knees to the floor for an easier version.

5. Bridge

This activates the lower ab muscles and lower back muscles. Its done by lying flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet directly under your knees. Now use the muscles in your midsection to raise your hips, making sure your spine remains in a neutral position. Hold up this position for a few seconds then slowly lower back down.

6. Quadruped

This is done by propping your hands and knees, hands directly below your shoulder. Tightening your ab muscles, raise your left hand and feet off the floor then inhale and exhale 3 times before lowering back down. Repeat 5-10 times. Make sure to activate your core muscles to keep you balanced.

Note: It is important to have a minimum of 5 minutes warm up period prior to the workout to lower your risk of getting injured and improve the effectiveness of your workout.

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