Incorporating core exercises into your fitness routine is vital to maintaining full-body strength and balance. Plus, everyone loves a good set of abs. Fortunately, you don’t even have to leave the house to get a core workout in. Here are my top eight favorite at-home core exercises.
This is a standard exercise you should absolutely in incorporating into your workouts.
- Start in pushup position on a mat, then lower yourself down onto your forearms.
- Keep your body in a straight line from your heels to your shoulders, and hold the position for 30-45 seconds while focusing on keeping your core tight.
- Do three sets.
2. Push Ups
Most people know how to do push ups, but not everyone knows how to do them right. Make sure that your body stays in a straight line the entire time.
- Try sucking in your gut and clenching your butt at the same time – it totally works.
- Remember to go slow enough that you maintain proper form with every rep.
- Do about 15-20 reps for one set, then repeat two or three times.
Another classic exercise, burpees are a great way to get your heart rate up and strengthen your core.
- Begin by standing up with your knees a bit wider than shoulder width apart.
- Drop down into a squat position and put your hands on the floor in between your feet.
- Jump straight back with your feet until your are in push up position, then complete one full push up.
- Jump back into the squat position, then jump explosively upward as high as you can.
- As you land, immediately drop into another rep.
- Do three sets of 12 reps each.
4. Donkey Kickbacks
- Begin this exercise on your hands and knees on a mat.
- Lift your right leg off the floor and drive your heel directly toward the ceiling, while keeping your leg bent.
- Then, lower your knee back to the ground.
- Repeat 10-12 times for one set, making sure to keep the rest of your body stationary to focus on your glutes and core.
- Do two or three sets.
5. Scale Pose
The scale pose is a yoga technique that takes a certain amount of core strength and balance to accomplish. It is great for building stability and focus in your core.
- Begin by sitting on a mat with your feet out in front of you.
- Cross your right leg over so that your foot is resting on your left thigh, then cross your left leg over so your foot is resting on your right thigh, interlocked.
- If you can’t quite get your legs to stretch that far, simply sitting in a traditional “criss-cross” style is okay.
- Put your hands on you floor palms down on either side of your hips.
- Keep your back straight, and use your abdominals to lift yourself up into the air.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds, keeping yourself steady as much as possible, then relax to the floor.
- Try doing three sets.
6. V Sit
This is another holding pose that will test your core and leg strength and stability.
- Sit on a mat with your legs out in front of you, then lift them up into the air together at a 45 degree angle.
- Then, lift your torso up at a 45 degree angle, balancing on your tailbone and forming a “V” with your body.
- Reach forward with your arms for balance, and hold the position for 45-60 seconds, then relax.
- Do two or three sets.
7. Bodyweight Squat
Squats are a must for any weight training routine, and they are an excellent core workout.
- Begin by standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your back straight.
- Squat down by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if you were sitting down into a chair.
- Always remember to keep your knees in line with your toes to avoid torquing your hips.
- You can keep your hands out in front of you to help you balance.
- Push through your heels to return to the start position.
- Do three sets of eight to 12 each.
8. Spider-Man Plank Crunch
This exercise is a more active twist on the standard plank.
- Start in plank position, then lift your right leg up and bring your knee up to your right elbow by rotating it out horizontally.
- Return to the start position, then repeat on your left side.
- To visualize what this exercise should look like, imagine that you are Spider-Man, crawling up a wall.
- Do two or three sets of 12 reps each.