Exercises for a Strong Core
Strong core muscles don’t just keep your back healthy and resistant to pain and injury; they also hold your body upright, improve balance and enable you to move your body with greater control and efficiency. If any (or all) of your core muscles are weak, other muscles have to compensate, resulting in loss of motion, weakness and pain.
Grab a 5- to 10-pound medicine ball or no weight if you are new to core training and kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Lengthen your spine and press the ball against your abs (A). Slowly lean back as far as is comfortable for you keeping your knees planted (B). Hold the reclined position for 3 seconds, then use your core to slowly come up to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Plank and Rotate
Plank to Side Plank
These are tow of the best core exercises in one. Get in plank position with your hands on a 12- to 18-inch step (A). With your weight on your left arm, rotate your body while raising your right arm toward the ceiling (B). Return to plank position and step your right arm down to the right of the bench, then your left arm down to the left of the bench. Step back up, leading with your left arm. That’s 1 rep.