6 Best Core Exercises You Can Do at Home

Core exercises

6 Best Core Exercises You Can Do at Home

By maintaining core strength, our bodies not only perform at optimal efficiency but we also are able to do so much more with our bodies. Think of your core muscles as a tree trunk, with your lower body being the roots and your upper body being the branches. Now picture this in a hurricane. You don’t want to be a sapling that snaps instantly. Aim to be a strong oak tree. In the face of strong winds, your core muscles or “tree trunk” will help keep you stable and upright.

In reality, many people forget and neglect the importance of core strength which can result in unnecessary injury, pain and missing out on wonderful aspects of life due to lack of strength.

Let’s not let it get to that point! We have outlined the best exercises for building core muscles that you can try at home. The best part is, they are crunch free.

 

The Benefits of Core Strength for Everyday Life

First, let’s talk a little bit about how core strength can benefit your everyday life. While core strengthening helps enhance overall balance and stability, it is really quite amazing how much it plays into every single one of our movements.

Have you ever considered just how much you engage your core muscles in a single day? Here are some examples:

  • Bending down to put your shoes on
  • Cooking
  • Taking out the trash
  • Scooping up child or grandchild
  • Looking behind you or checking blind spots when driving
  • Taking a bath or a shower
  • Getting dressed or undressed
  • Cleaning or fixing the house and gardening
  • Even sitting for hours every day

 

The Difference Between Abs and Core Strength

Many, many people misunderstand abs and core as being the same things. Seeking chiseled abs is not the same thing as building core strength. When “chiseling” out your abs, you are working them in isolation, only targeting a few front-facing muscles. Core exercises, on the other hand, target the entire group of muscles that result in the “tree trunk” necessary for pretty much every motion that we do.

Core muscles include:

  • Ab muscles on the front
  • Lower back muscles and glutes on the back
  • Diaphragm muscle on the top
  • Pelvic floor and hip muscles on the bottom

 

This article is not about chiseling out abs. That can be found in another exercise strategy. Today is all about building core strength to improve mobility, strength, and eliminate back pain.

 

The 6 Core Exercises to Do at Home

Now that we have addressed the immense importance of core strengthening, here are 6 of the best core exercises. They take ten minutes to perform, require no equipment, and can drastically improve your overall health, strength, mobility, balance, and eliminate pain. Do these once a day and feel the improvements. Make sure to have patience with yourself.

 

1. Bridge

The bridge exercise strengthens the whole abdominal region, the lower back and the glutes.

  • Lay on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Make sure your feet are under your knees.
  • Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles.
  • Raise your hips up to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders.
  • Squeeze your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine.
  • If your hips sag or drop, lower yourself back on the floor.
  • The goal is to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your knees and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. You may need to begin by holding the bridge position for a few seconds as you build your strength. It’s better to hold the correct position for a shorter time than to go longer in the incorrect position.
  • Aim for 10 repetitions and two sets.

 

2. Straight Leg Drops

The straight leg drop core exercise targets the transverse abdominal muscles and the obliques.

  • Lie flat on your back with your shoulder blades snuggled under your heart space and with both legs straight and perpendicular to the ground.
  • Begin exercise by lowering your right leg down slowly until it almost touches the ground, without changing the bend in your knee. Try to take 3-5 seconds to lower leg down. Pause, then raise leg back up to starting position.
  • Be sure to keep your lower backflushed with the ground at all times.
  • Repeat as necessary on the right leg, then switch legs.
  • Aim for 10 repetitions on each leg and two sets.

 

3. Front Toe Drops

The front toe drop core abdominal exercise requires to focus on breath.

  • Lie flat on your back with your shoulder blades snuggled under your heart space.
  • Lift your legs so that your shins are parallel to the ceiling and your arms lying by your side.
  • Make sure your knees are above your hips and your feet are straight out from your knees.
  • Inhale as you lower your right leg down and then exhale as you draw the leg back to starting position.
  • To increase difficulty do both legs at the same time.
  • Aim for 10 repetitions on each leg and two sets.

 

4. Side Knee Drops

Core Exercises abdominal muscles with a focus on the obliques with the side knee drop core exercise.

  • Lie flat on your back with your shoulder blades snuggled under your heart space.
  • Lift your legs so that your shins are parallel to the ceiling and your arms in a T position.
  • Make sure your knees are above your hips and your feet are straight out from your knees.
  • Lower your legs down to the right as you keep your upper body held in the same position.
  • Bring your legs back to the center.
  • Repeat on the left side.
  • Aim for 10 repetitions on each side and two sets.

 

5. Hip Circles

The hip circle core exercise requires to focus on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

  • Lean back on your elbows while stretching your legs straight into the air.
  • Touch your heels together and activate your core and leg muscles while squeezing your inner thighs.
  • Inhale as you lower your legs down towards the ground and exhale as you circulate them back up into the air in a circular motion.
  • Change directions of your leg circles each time.
  • Aim for 10 repetitions in each direction and two sets.

 

6. Four-Point Balance

The four-point balance exercise strengthens abdominal muscles and improves balance.

  • Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
  • Make sure your knees are directly below your hips and your hands are directly below your shoulders for a solid foundation.
  • Extend your left leg straight out behind you and your right arm straight out in front of you at the same time while activating your core muscles.
  • Remain balanced throughout the exercise.
  • Bring your arm and leg back to tabletop position and then repeat with the other arm and leg.
  • Aim for 10 repetitions on each side and two sets.

 

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