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Introduction to 6 key core exercises

core-exercises

In today’s article, Laszlo our Head Personal Trainer here at Delta Fitness gives you an introduction to 6 key core exercises. Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability through strength and conditioning.

 

FOUR SIGNS YOUR CORE IS YOUR ISSUE

Here are some common symptoms caused by a lack of core strength:

Poor posture: This is one of the first symptoms of a weak or injured core. From slumped shoulders to an inability to stand or sit up straight, a weak core causes bad posture.

Back pain: Another prime indicator is back pain which comes from a lack of strength in the opposing abdominal muscles. Because those muscles aren’t providing as much support as they should, the back overworks itself when it comes to lifting, running and other exercises.

Overall weakness: If you have problems lifting heavy amounts or jumping, your core is likely at fault. Those midsection muscles fuel the strength of your limbs, so pain that comes from strenuous activity can often be traced back to the core.

Fatigue: If you feel shortness of breath, or are unable to hold in your stomach without feeling strain or pain, then there are problems with core muscle strength.

Today, I’m going to take you guys through an abs workout to get those abs really defined. Get that chiselled look for the beach. So we’re going to focus on the abdominal squat here, though reps, and on the obliques.

 

exercises-for-the-core

 

My top core exercises

Exercise 1: Toe reach with crunch, this works all the abdominal muscles

Start this exercise by lying down on the floor, lift your legs up, try and keep them as straight as possible. Don’t worry if they’re not completely straight, sometimes the tight hamstrings prevent you from that. Now from there, just try and reach the toes crunch up, and then go back down again, keep the back flat and start again, do this a total of three sets of 16 reps.

Exercise 2: Dead bug, a great exercise to work the whole core stability and strengthen the deep stabilising muscles in the lower back

My second exercise and this is one of my favourite exercises probably all-time for the core is called a dead bug. This exercise is not only good for training the abs, but it’s a very good exercise to work the deep core muscles and helps to stabilise the lower back. So if you have some low back pain, this exercise is definitely for you and add this into your routine. 

To start this exercise, lie down on the floor. The key thing here is to keep the back flat at all times. If your back is arching slightly you’re probably going to get pressure on the lower back and you’re going to feel pain there. So make sure your back is flat. 

Lift your legs up to 90 degrees, extend one leg and slowly while you bring the opposite arm back behind the head. Go back to the start position, change sides. Do this a total of three sets of 12 times each side.

Exercise 3: Elbow plank twists – helps strengthen the obliques and overall core

Okay, so we have already trained the front part of the ABS and the core. We’re going to move on to the next exercise to train the obliques a little bit more and of course the core. So this one is elbow plank twists, it’s a great movement to again help stabilise the lower back to bring balance and stability. 

Adopt a plank position as if you were doing a normal plank. But this time we’re going to rotate to the side and you’re going to let your feet follow with you. Rotate the whole body. I’m just placing all my body weight on my elbows. 

So making sure that tension stays in the core and you’re gonna feel a lot of pressure, in the obliques. Do this exercise a total of three sets of 12 reps on each side.

Exercise 4: leg raises – strengthens the core and lower abdominal muscles, helps with balance and stability

After that aerobic work, we’re going to move on to the next movement which is going to be lying down leg raises.

This exercise is not only great to target the lower abdominals but is a very good exercise to strengthen the core. 

We’re going to start by laying down on the floor, keep the back flat as much as possible pushing against the floor. Bring your hands right next to your glutes. Don’t sit on them, but just keep them close. 

From there, extend the legs as straight as possible. You’re going to bring it down while you’re maintaining the back flap. This is key and then lift your legs up all the way to 90 degrees as much as you can and bring it back down again. You’re going to repeat this a total of four sets of 15 reps.

Exercise 5: V sit hold – external and internal obliques, abdominal muscles and helps to strengthen the core and balance

Next up we have the V-sit hold. This exercise not only trains the abdominal muscles, but it also trains the internal and external obliques. And we have to strengthen your core. 

Sitting on the floor, lift up your legs, bend them slightly, not fully straight. You’re going to reach up next your calf muscles with your hand. And from there, you just need to hold that position for 45 seconds. 

If it’s easy, you can push it to 60 seconds, do this a total of three times as long as you can.

Exercise 6: Side plank – works the core a lot and helps to improve balance 

The very last exercise of the day is going to be side plank. Now of all the exercises I would say probably this is one of the most challenging ones because it not only trains or the obliques but it puts a lot of pressure on the shoulder, the arms, a lot of muscles that are inserted into the hip and all over the core. So this exercise is very, very beneficial and should always include in your plan.

You’re going to lie down on our side, placing all the bodyweight on the elbow, put both feet, one on top of another. Now put your hand on the hip and just hold this position. Make sure the hip is not dropping down. So try and always keep your body tight, forming a straight line.

We’re going to hold this for, again, 50 seconds, but if you can push it to a minute, that’s even better. And on both sides total of three times as long as you can.

This was my top six core exercises

This was my top six core exercises for abs and a full core workout. Give this routine a go and let me know how you find it in the comment section. I always like to hear your feedback on our workouts. 

Also if you’re in the Canary Wharf area, please pop into the studio and say hi to us. In the meantime, subscribe, follow us on Instagram. And see you guys soon.

Check out our other top exercise vlogs here:


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