Core Exercises

 

Core exercises strengthen your core muscles, including your back, abs, and pelvis.  There are many benefits to core strengthening exercises:

bulletStabilize your center of gravity.
bulletHelp prevent back injury because of the bracing effect of the strong core muscles.
bulletHelp prevent falls and other injuries.
bulletImprove balance and posture.
bulletImprove performance during exercise and sports activities.
bulletMake it easier to do tasks such as lifting heavy objects.

Core strengthening exercises are those that strengthen your abdominal muscles, your back, and to a lesser extent, your hips.  Here are some exercises for you to try.  If you are experiencing back pain or have a back injury, you should ask your doctor if these core exercises are right for you.

Crunches

Lie on your back on the floor with your hands behind your head.  Curl your shoulders forward and up until your upper back lifts off the floor.  Contract the abdominal muscles when you lift your shoulders.  Hold for two seconds before returning to the starting position.  Repeat these core exercises ten times.

Reverse Crunches

Lie on your back on the floor with your hands behind your head.  Raise both legs until they are at a 90-degree angle to your body.  Now bend both legs at the knees, so that your calves are parallel to the floor.  Then, tightening your abdominal muscles, and keeping your knees bent, slowly lower your legs until the bottoms of your feet are just a few inches from the floor.  Hold for two seconds before returning to the starting position.  Repeat these core strengthening exercises ten times.

Oblique Crunch

Lie on your back on the floor with your hands behind your head.  Bend your knees slightly to take the pressure off your lower back.  Curl to one side.  Tighten the ab muscles.  Hold for two seconds before returning to the starting position.  Repeat ten times.  Then repeat this exercise on the other side.

Butt Lifts

Lie on your back on the floor, hands resting at your sides, palms down.  Bend your knees, with your feet flat on the floor.  Lift your hips off the floor, squeezing your gluteal muscles (buttocks) and lower abs.  Hold for two seconds before returning to the starting position.  Repeat these core exercises ten times.

The Plank

Lie on your stomach on the floor.  Bend your elbows, placing your forearms and palms flat on the floor.  Lift your body off the floor so that you are resting on your forearms and toes.  Stay in this position for about 30 seconds.

Working Out With The Exercise Ball

The exercise ball is a great tool for doing core strengthening exercises.  You can purchase an exercise ball anywhere you buy exercise equipment, or order one online.  Not only does it allow you to perform some great core strengthening exercises, it adds variety to your workout.  Here are a couple of core exercises you can do with the exercise ball.

Ball Crunches

Lie on the ball so that your lower back is resting on the ball and your feet are resting on the floor.  Your hands should be behind your head.  Contract your abs and curl your upper body towards your hips.  Hold for two seconds before returning to the starting position.  Repeat these core strengthening exercises ten times.

Back Extensions with the Exercise Ball

Lie on your stomach on the ball, with the ball positioned beneath your hips, your toes resting on the floor.  Lift your trunk up, stretching our your hands on either side, so that your body straightens out.  Make sure you keep your head, neck, shoulders, and back in a straight line.  Repeat ten times.

 

Before beginning a new exercise routine, you should speak with your doctor.  You want to make sure the exercises are right for you.

More than core exercises on our benefits of exercise page

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