Core Exercises for Beginners

An important part to a well-rounded fitness program is a core exercise routine. Proper core conditioning trains your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen to work in harmony; this will lead to more stability and better balance in physical activities as well as your daily activities. Some core exercises to consider adding to your program are:

Abdominal Crunches – Muscles Worked: Abs

Lie on your back on the floor, with knees bent and hands resting behind head. Feet should be flat on the ground. Keep a space between chin and chest (looking toward your knees). Exhale and lift head, neck and shoulders up until shoulder blades are off the floor. Inhale and slowly lower back to the floor.

• Don’t interlace your fingers

• Allow the fingers to rest gently behind the ears

• Think about drawing your ribs toward your hips

Oblique Crunch – Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis, Obliques

Lie on your back on floor, with knees bent and hands resting behind head. Feet should be flat on the ground. Keep a space between chin and chest (looking toward your knees). Exhale and lift head, neck and shoulders rotating upper torso to the right as if to bring the right shoulder to the right hip. Inhale and return to starting position. Repeat on other side.

• Don’t interlace your fingers

• Allow the fingers to rest gently behind the ears

• Think about drawing opposite rib toward opposite hip

• Keep elbows back and out of your peripheral vision

Modified Plank – Muscles Worked: Transverse Abdominals

Begin this exercise by lying on stomach. Grab opposite elbows with opposite wrists to ensure correct alignment. This will ensure elbows are directly under shoulders. Keeping elbows where they are, move forearms so you can interlace the fingers. Legs should be hips distance apart. Exhale and lift body up on forearms and toes, keeping body as straight as possible. Engage abdominals to support the back. Only hold as long as you can maintain proper alignment. Over time, increase the time you hold to 30 seconds.

• If this exercise is too intense, place the knees on the floor

• Make sure you keep the glutes down and have a straight line from the crown of the head to the knees

Begin on hands and knees with hands shoulders width apart and slightly forward of your shoulders. Knees should be directly under hips and your abdomen should be tight and spine neutral. There should be a straight line from knees to shoulders (no high hips or glutes in the air!) Exhale and bend elbows to lower your chest to 90 degrees at elbow. Inhale and press body back up to starting position, making sure elbows don’t lock or completely straighten.

• If you can’t lower to a 90 degree bend at the elbow, just go to a comfortable position until you can work up to 90 degrees.

Lower Body Twist – Muscles Worked: Obliques, Transverse Abdominals

Begin lying on the floor with arms out to your side. Lift legs off the ground and bend knees to a 90 degree angle. Make sure your lower back is pressed gently into the ground. Inhale and slowly lower knees to the right, making sure to keep shoulders and back on the floor. Exhale and bring knees back up to starting position. Repeat on other side. Try doing 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Swimming – Muscles Worked: Lower Back

Lie face down on a mat with arms and legs outstretched. Exhale and raise left arm and right leg off floor. Inhale and lower down to start position. Repeat on other side.

• Keep back of neck long by looking directly down toward the mat

• Keep shoulders away from the ears and abdominals engaged

This information is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program.

Source by Austin Barton

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