So let's be honest...when you talk about strengthening your core and you look up the best core workouts, you're NOT doing it for the "balance and stability" or whatever. You're doing it for the sweet, sweet ABS!
Sure, core strengthening workouts will someday reduce the chances of back problems and other degenerative issues later in life, but more importantly, abs!!
OK. Let me tell you, though, when you say "core," you're not just talking about ab muscles. "Core" also refers to back and pelvic muscles.
Let me give you a quick rundown of what constitutes the core.
Some people would consider these part of the ABS. And I'll admit, even though I love mine, I wouldn't mind if they were actually a little smaller!
But obliques are for more than just looks. Obliques support your posture, which means reducing the risk of injury, especially lower back pain.
If you have weak obliques, then it's likely that your neck, shoulders, and core are all tight from sitting in front of a computer, like at a desk job...and I don't mean the core being tight in a good way.
If the neck, shoulders, and core is tight, then your back muscles try to make up for it. THAT makes those back muscles less able to support your spine, which causes compression of the lower back.
You may have heard of this being called Anterior Pelvic Tilt, which I've briefly mentioned in the past.
You might have seen people doing the "sticking out the booty" pose on Instagram. That's an example of intentional anterior pelvic tilt.
So, what's wrong with the posture that makes it look like you're perpetually showing off the booty for Instagram??
The exact same thing is true with strengthening your Erector Spinae and Multifidus Back muscles, and your Rectus Abdominis — abs!
If you don't work these muscles, then that puts more pressure on your back muscles and weakens the support of the spine. So yes, the core is more than just the rectus abdominis.
So without further ado, I'm sure you didn't click on an article about the best core workouts just to learn about the muscles, without learning some moves!!
I'll skip talking about crunches and all that because you already know about those. Although, I will say, if you haven't tried crunches with a medicine ball yet, I definitely recommend that, and also sitting side-to-side twists with a medicine ball.
If you're doing planks to strengthen your core, you could add a little extra intensity with a medicine ball, by either keeping it in your hands or balancing your feet on it.
Either way works, and don't worry, no one will see!! But as for some core exercises, you may not be familiar with...
Bridgesare known for helping your glutes, but they're good for your core, too! You can also add resistance bands.
Resistance bands are good for standing workouts too. I've been doing a variety of ab workouts with the bands. I'm working the obliques, but bending and working the rectus abdominis too!
Speaking of using equipment to get creative...
Why not replace that medicine ball from earlier with an exercise ball and a barbell, for a one-of-a-kind twist workout??
Whether that means laughing with friends because you lost your balance, or using equipment in UNIQUE ways, the best core workouts make it FUN!
The programs I've done — from Transform:20, to Turbo Kick, to 80 Day Obsession — Are all FUN, fast-paced, and you're working with people you like!!
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