A strong core is vital for making everyday movements easy, improving your overall strength and balance — plus, everyone loves a good set of abs.
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Fortunately, you don’t even have to leave the house to get a great core workout in. Here are our favourite at-home core exercises that don’t require any equipment.
This is a standard exercise you should absolutely in incorporating into your workouts.
- Start in push-up 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 30-60 seconds while focusing on keeping your core tight.
- Do three sets.
2. Plank To 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.
- This exercise is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Start in plank position on your forearms, propping yourself up on your elbows and your toes, with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders.
- Then, transfer yourself into a pushup position, replacing your forearms with your hands.
- The movement should be up, up, down, down. Your body should stay still and not rock; keep your hips parallel to the ground at all times. For added difficulty, perform a push-up when in the push-up position before returning to plank.
3. Side Plank With Hip Lifts
Lie on your right side, and prop yourself up on your right elbow. Your elbow should be directly underneath your shoulder, with your forearm and hand flat on the ground. Stack your legs on top of one another. Place your left hand on your left hip. Slowly raise your hips off the ground by engaging your core, and pushing against the floor with your feet and your forearm until your body forms a straight line. To begin: contract through the right obliques to lift the hips as high as you can from a horizontal position. Then drop the hips back to horizontal and repeat. Continue lifting the hips, doing 10 reps, then switch sides.
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.
5. V Ups
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.
6. 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.
6. Scale Pose
We borrowed this core muscle exercise from the yogis.
- In a seated, cross-legged position, place your hands felt on the ground in line with your hips.
- Straighten your arms and lift your body off the mat.
- Hold for a count of 3 and lower yourself back down.
- For beginners, try leaving your feet on the mat and raise just your hips.
- As you get stronger you can advance to the full move. Three reps is plenty with this killer move!