Best workouts for your core
We have all seen the fitness magazines of people with a ripped and muscular abdomen and wish we could get like that. Well, a lot of the work is done through diet but there is a way of making these core muscles stronger and bigger and this will help with the aesthetics of your physique as well as your physical performance. Your core muscles are there for more than looking good and training your core will benefit you in many ways. If you think you need to start training your core muscles then read this article for great core workouts that are going to help you build that mid-section.
Why you should train core muscle?
As we have said, and you probably already know having a strong and lean looking core area looks good on everyone. Having six pack or ripped abs have been the goals of many fitness enthusiasts and is a go to look for the summer. Well training your core has more effect on your body then just looking good. For a start the increase in muscle mass you will gain by training these muscles is going to improve your overall strength and help your body burn more calories. This is due to more muscle mass requiring more calories to maintain and therefore your metabolism will raise.
Having a stronger core also can help with your performance with many other things. Your core muscles are responsible for keeping your body stable when moving and lifting so you will likely find you will be more stable even with simple tasks like walking and running. This will also help with lifts like deadlifts and put you at a lower risk of getting injured as its puts less pressure on your lower back. Having good stability can also reduce the amount of pressure experienced by your knees and hips which are commonly injured when exercising as they are under constant stress. This also leads to better form which can also put you at a lower risk of getting injured.
Leg raises are a great exercise that you have likely seen many people doing. To do this workout your lye on the floor facing the sky and then raise your legs upwards so they are at a 90 degree angle and the bottom of your feet are facing the sky. Then slowly lower your legs to the start position and then repeat this for reps. This exercise works your lower core which can be hard to build. It also can work your leg muscles and hip flexors making these stronger and then benefitting you more. There are also many different variations of this workout and one is hanging leg raises. These are done raising your legs while you are hanging from a pull up bar and are commonly done.
Another benefit of leg raises is that they require minimal equipment and can be done anywhere. The only thing that’s really required is a solid foo or surface you can lye down on. This makes it good for training your core muscles on days where gyms may not be accessible. To make this movement harder you could try the different variations or try applying some weight between your legs as your core will have to work harder to lift your legs. When doing this movement try not to bend you legs too much or lift your shoulders off the ground as this is likely to cause you a back injury.
Crunches are an exercise that isolates your core and works all of the core muscles. A cable crunch is a variation of a crunch that allows you to add some resistance as you are using a cable and doing the movement against the resistance of this. This exercise is done by going down on your knees facing away from the cable machine. You then grab a roe attachment for the cable machine and hold this behind your head. You then lower your torso as close to your legs as you can using your core muscles to move the weight. Try not to bend your back too much as this is going to cause back pain and won’t isolate your core.
If you have any long-term back injuries the cable crunches are not recommended as the extra resistance can put pressure in you spine. However, this workout does isolate your core and is good for building muscle and strength in that area. This workout can also be done in different variation like they can be done on you knees or standing. Both have their advantages, but the kneeling cable crunch can put less pressure on your lower back if done correctly. By doing this exercise you will see a increase in strength and size of your abdomen muscles.
Abdominal wheel roll out
If you already have decent core strength and are looking for some more challenging workouts, then this one for the core muscles is great and challenging. To do this exercise you need to be on your knees and then grip a rolling wheel with each hand. The slowly roll the wheel out as far as you can go and then bring it back. This can be challenging as the further out you stretch the harder it becomes to keep stable, and it engages all your core muscles. The key to this workout is to try not and move your body or bend your back when you extend. Doing this means you won’t benefit as much and are at a greater risk of suffering from an injury.
This is a tricky exercise to do so do not expect to be amazing at it. When you do get good at this workout then there are many different variations you can do. One thing you can do is use a bar instead of an ab wheel. You could also try and stabilise weights on your back while doing the workout to make it harder. You could also increase your range of motion and stretch further each time as this will engage your core muscles more and improve their strength.
Dumbbell side bend
Your obliques are the muscles on the side of your body, and these also are included in your core muscles. These muscles are important as they support your back and help prevent back pain. They also look good and can make your six pack look more defined. These muscles often go overlooked when people train core as generally everyone focuses on the muscles that make up the six pack, but the obliques are equally important. A dumbbell side bend is performed by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. You then hold a dumbbell in one arm and then you bend to one side from your waist. You should feel the muscles on the side of your body being worked and these are you obliques.
You can also do this workout by just holding a kettle bell or weight in one hand. This will also help with balance which is something that everyone wants to improve as this will help with many other movements and sports. When doing this exercise, you need to make sure you are not going too heavy as this can cause you to lean too far and make you pull a muscle. An injured oblique is likely to put you out of action for a while and may find simple things like walking and running difficult.
Decline Sit up
A sit up is probably one of the most common core workouts. They can be done anywhere and are fairly easy. There is one variation of a sit up called a decline sit up. These are done on a decline bench and involve you laying on the bench and then doing a sit up. This has more range of motion when compared to a normal sit up and therefore will work your core muscles more and increased their strength. This workout helps to reduce lower back pain as it forces your legs, hips and core to keep you stabilised when you are doing the movement which we have said before also helps with other movements.
There are also many more variations of this workout that are easier to do when compared to normal sit ups. For example, as your sitting at an angle and elevated on a bench then it may be easier to hold a weight and do the exercise with a bit more resistance. As well as working you core this can also strengthen your hip flexors and lower back muscles. There is also less impact on your back as your not on the ground like you would be with usual sit ups.
When it comes to training your core, this is very important. From an aesthetic point of view and a performance one there is always going to be benefits of training your core muscles. If you were looking for a few good workouts to get you that six pack you have been dreaming of then these few we have mentioned are surely going to help. Many of the workouts mentioned can also be done in many different variations to suit whatever your needs may be.