If you’re looking to strengthen your core, there are plenty of exercises out there that claim to do the trick. However, not all core exercises are created equal. To help you weed out the ineffective exercises and focus on the ones that actually work, here are some core exercises that are worth incorporating into your routine.
The plank is a classic exercise that targets your entire core, including your abs, back, and hips. It’s simple, but oh-so effective. Start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders, then lower down onto your forearms. Keep your body in a straight line and hold for 30-60 seconds.
Mountain climbers are a great way to get your heart rate up while also working your core. Start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Bring your right knee towards your chest, then quickly switch and bring your left knee towards your chest. Continue alternating legs for 30-60 seconds.
The dead bug exercise is a great way to work your core while also engaging your hip flexors and quads. Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Lower your right arm and left leg towards the ground, keeping your lower back pressed into the floor. Return to starting position and repeat with your left arm and right leg. Continue alternating sides for 10-15 reps.
Bicycle crunches are a great way to target your rectus abdominis (aka your six-pack muscles) as well as your obliques. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and bring your right elbow to your left knee as you straighten your right leg. Switch sides, bringing your left elbow to your right knee as you straighten your left leg. Continue alternating sides for 10-15 reps.
Side planks are a killer exercise for your obliques, and they also work your shoulders and hips. Lie on your side with your forearm on the ground and your elbow directly under your shoulder. Stack your feet on top of each other and lift your hips off the ground. Hold for 30-60 seconds, then switch sides.