Strengthening your core will keep you healthy and free of body pain as you get older. Your abs and core will both benefit from a workout that can effectively target your core.
It’s important to know that your center of gravity is in your core. This is why exercise and daily life are made easier when you have a well-developed core. At work, at the gym or in the kitchen, it is imperative that you keep your core engaged at all times.
It goes without saying that a well-developed core can prevent injuries and increase the effectiveness of your workouts.
What, Exactly, Is The “Core”?
Because your core muscles are used throughout the day and night, even when you’re not doing specific abs exercises, it’s critical to incorporate them into your workout routine. Almost every movement you make relies on the stability and support provided by your abdominal muscles, whether you’re walking, reaching, balancing, getting up from a chair, or even just standing straight.
When most people think of the core, they think of abs, but our core is actually a much more complex network of muscles found in the trunk of our body.
The rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, erector spinae, pelvic floor muscles, and internal and external obliques are some of the more important ones. The rectus abdominis (the muscles on the front of your abdomen) is probably what comes to mind when you hear the word “abs” (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen). The rotator cuffs, lats, traps, and pectoral muscles are all part of core work, and they can all be used in core exercises.
As long as you keep your core muscles tight and resist movement like arching or rotation, any exercise can become an abs exercise if you engage your abs. In addition, some exercises that you might not consider “core exercises” actually work those muscles as well, such as overhead presses, goblet squats, and single-leg deadlifts, in which you lift weights above your head or hold them in front of you.
It’s worth it, however, to give your abs a little extra love with some specific core exercises, given how much you use them in daily life and during workouts. You’ll be able to improve your range of motion, strength, and mobility, as well as avoid injury (including back pain!).
Best Gym Core Workouts
Below are some of the best exercises that don’t require a lot of equipment to target and strengthen your core.
You can rest your forearms on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your hands facing forward so that your arms are parallel to the ground.
Stretch out your legs and place your toes on the ground. From your shoulders to your toes, your body should form a straight line.
Maintain a straight lower back by contracting your core, glutes, and quads, and tucking your butt slightly. Hips should not be dropped, but buttocks should not be raised to the ceiling.
Make sure your neck is in a neutral position and that your gaze is on your hands when you perform this exercise.
Keep this position.
Panther Shoulder Tap
On your hands and knees.
Lift your knees one to three inches off the floor while maintaining a flat back and a down-turned buttocks position. Keep your neck in a neutral position by gazing at the floor a few inches in front of your hands.
Use your core strength to keep your hips as still as possible while tapping your right hand to your left shoulder and your left hand to your right shoulder.
Alternate the sides as before.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your soles of your feet together. Stack your arms on top of each other. This is where we begin.
Roll your torso upright by engaging your core muscles. Reach your toes out to the ground and feel the ground beneath your feet. Just one rep.
Continue immediately into the next repetition after returning to the starting position.
Half-Kneeling Wood Chop
Step one foot in front of the other with your knee bent at a 90-degree angle, starting on your knees. Dumbbells of varying weights can be held by the knee that is resting on the floor. Hold on to the weight by both of its ends. This is where we begin.
Your abs should be twisted as you bring your weight diagonally up toward your ceiling. Do not rotate your hips; only your core muscles should do so.
Lower yourself to your starting position by regaining control of your weight.
Do all of your repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side and do the same thing.
A forearm plank is performed with the hands facing forward and the arms parallel to the floor, while the legs are extended behind you. The forearms should be placed on a set of gliders or towels. Your abs, buttocks, and quads will all benefit from this posture. This is where we begin.
Use your elbows and forearms to gently push the gliders or towels back against the wall. The further you can go without losing focus, the better. Keep your hips tight.
To get back to where you were, slowly pull with your arms and elbows.
Hollow Body Rock
Your arms and legs should be extended straight above you as you lay faceup. Your ears should be in close proximity to the ends of your arms as you maintain this position.
As you press your low back into the ground, tighten your abs.
Lift your legs off the ground by pointing your toes, squeezing your thighs together, and contracting your glutes.
Maintain a neutral posture for your neck by raising your shoulders and keeping your head level. You should be in the shape of a banana with only your low back and hips touching the ground. Your legs and mid back should be elevated. This is where we begin.
Rock slowly forward and back, keeping everything tight, until your feet and hands almost touch the floor.
Simply get into the starting position and hold that position.
Barbell Back Squat
Lift a barbell off the rig with your feet shoulder-width apart, ensuring that it is evenly distributed across your shoulders. If you’re going to do a back squat, you’ll want to use less weight than you would for a traditional one.
Send your glutes back and bend your knees as far as you can, as if you were lowering into a chair. To complete one rep, drive your heels into the floor and slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Perform one set of 12 reps.
The Best Machines To Use For a Core Workout At Gym
Train your abs, back, and legs on any one of these machines to improve your overall health and fitness. Because, just as you need to brace your abs when running and cycling, having a strong, stable core helps you more easily perform everyday tasks.
In addition to sculpting your abs through muscle growth, cardio machines also help you lose weight. In addition, they help you get rid of the layer of fat between your muscles and skin, allowing you to show off your abs.
Is riding a stationary bike a good way to tone your abs? It can be. Your core is responsible for keeping your pelvis stable and your hips centered in your seat during sitting. Keep your upper body steady and tuck your tailbone to maximize your ab burn on the bike.
If you want to focus on your abs specifically, then obviously, there will be better machines or workout routines that will perform better than a stationary bike, but nevertheless, a stationary bike does target your core while giving you an overall cardio workout.
Many people associate rowing with strengthening the back, but the front of the torso receives just as much attention as the back when rowing. While rowing, keep your back straight but your hips slightly leaned back. You’ll feel like you’re almost (but not quite) at the top of a sit-up if you use the proper form.
As a strength training tool, the cable machine is one of the most versatile gym equipment. Every cable exercise works your core to some extent. However, cable exercises like the Pallof press and horizontal wood chop are among the most effective abdominal exercises anyone can incorporate into their workout routine.
When it comes to training your core, don’t think of it as a group of muscles, but rather as one integrated unit that is responsible for holding your body up and providing stability to your spine. By focusing on your abs, you can strengthen them, making them stronger and more efficient.
One of the best ways to do this is by engaging in exercises that are designed to strengthen your core, such as crunches, planks, and sit-ups. By adding a few of these exercises to your routine, you can help prevent future back problems. In addition, they’ll help you strengthen your abs, so that you can achieve your ideal physique.