A strong core is essential to catapult you to caveman-like status, and powerful abdominal muscles will help you perform everyday tasks much more efficiently, too.
According to the Harvard Medical School, a strong core enhances your stability and balance to help prevent falls and injuries while participating in physical activities. A strong mid-section will also reduce lower back pain and improve your posture.
Get on the Mat
What’s great about core training is that you don’t need to head to the gym to work the muscles. Grab a gym mat and head to the floor to get your abs rippling. The Mayo Clinic suggests the bridge as a classic core strength exercise to perform. To begin, lie flat on your back with your knees bent in front of your body. Contract your abs as you lift your hips off of the ground. Stop the movement once your hips are in alignment with your upper body. Hold the position as long as you can before lowering back to the floor in a controlled movement.
A medicine ball is a great tool to add to your workout in order to improve core strength. Holding the weighted ball while performing a few basic moves will work the muscles in the abs. For instance, one exercise to try will require you to enter a lunge position. Step forward with your left leg and bend at the knee and hips. Cross the medicine ball in front of your body towards the hips as you enter the lunge position. Return to starting position and repeat the exercise with the right leg. Do at least 12 reps for each leg.
Yoga and Pilates
Exercises incorporated into yoga and Pilates workouts are great for developing core strength. Want to look like Superman? Then, consider performing the Superman pose that is done in many Pilates classes. Start out on all fours on a mat. Extend the left leg out behind you and then bring it back. Switch sides. For the next movement, you should hover the left leg over the mat. Bring the leg back in and switch sides. For the most advanced phase of the exercise, lift your left leg out behind you and raise the right arm to shoulder height. Hold the pose before switching sides.
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