Strengthen your core with 9 workout variations

Strengthen your core with 9 workout variations

At the heart of every movement is just that: your heart. And although “core “and” abs ” often become synonymous, it is not 100% correct to use them interchangeably. Your right abdomen, TRANSVERSE abdomen, and oblique abdominal muscles form your midsection, but they are not the only muscles involved. Your back, hips, and glutes also provide the stable base you need to go forward and backward, jump from side to side, or turn it all around. So, to get a serious core training, you need to work on them all.

“Basic strength and stability not only improve body and athletic performance, but also help maintain and correct posture and shape and prevent health-issue,” says Andia Winslow, a Daily Burn audio Training trainer. “Those who have an awareness of their core and the ability to engage it properly also have improved proprioception – or a sense of the positions of their ends without really seeing them.”

Just imagine the movement of top athletes, Winslow explains, and how easily and rhythmically they travel through space, often on several levels of movement at once. You can thank the strong muscles of the trunk for this. “The core should be at the heart of every workout,” Winslow says. “Workouts won’t be as effective without a proper baseline.”

This is not to say that crunches need a permanent place in your sweat sessions. You can easily sneak into additional basic challenges during other common exercises. “When people decide to add difficulty to the workout, they often increase the weight, repetition or duration. Another – and often more efficient-way to increase the intensity is to change the position, contact with the ground and / or the equipment of the dynamic variance [think of sand or water],” explains Winslow. Move your weight, test your balance or focus on a landing, all more engage your middle.

Learn how to get a solid core workout with every strength workout with these sneaky Winslow strategies.

1. Add weight overhead.

Whether you’re doing squats or lunges, Winslow suggests pushing or holding a weight over your head—or just holding your arms up — to activate your abs and shoulders. These muscle groups need to work harder to keep your spine in a neutral position so that it does not bulge too much and strain the lower back. Translation: Put your hands in the air as if you really care about your core training.

2. Keep your step-ups and pull-ups.

Getting on a bench, chair or box, you need to use one leg, getting out of the heel to reach the top. While the balance on one limb is already working on your heart to keep you upright, Winslow explains that a break at the top (with your knee raised) will further integrate your midsection. When you get up, just hold a count of two to five seconds and then back down.

Same strategy (literally!) for pull-ups and pull-ups. By taking a break with your chin on the bar, your heart will trigger to keep you stable and in a single continuous line. The day of legs or arms turned to basic training.

3. Glue a landing on one leg on canned jumps.

To assemble the basic work in a box jump, first lower the height of the jump. Then hold the explosive jump on one leg and really glue the landing. (Hold it on top for one to three seconds before getting up and pulling back.) A full body exercise at its finest.

4. Make a one-armed dumbbell press or fly.

Make sure your arm and ab routine goes hand in hand. Move one arm at a time in exercises such as a dumbbell press or a fly, press your midsection against the rotation to keep your hips square and your back straight. It works whether you are standing or lying on your back. Lift your hips into a bridge and you also target your gluteal muscles. So many muscles, much less time.

5. Decide on a twist.

We tend to rotate in multiple directions throughout the day, from rotating to spinning a high five to a studio mate to chatting with a colleague. But to keep this movement safe, your core needs enough strength to support you and protect the spine. Enter: rotational exercises to strengthen stability. Try turning your upper body up or down on a step in a front or side slit so that your body learns to better deal with the curves you take all day.

6. Throw punches while sitting on the wall.

Turn a static wall into a full body exercise by involving your arms. Just stretch your arms out in front of you to turn on your abs and arms. Or throw bows to increase the cardio element, too.

7. Lift a limb into boards.

It’s no secret that the boards aim your whole heart. But take an arm, a leg, or better yet both — and bam — a bigger burn. That’s because removing a support base forces your abs, back muscles, and legs to work harder to keep them in a straight line, Winslow explains. The same principle also applies to pumps. Take one foot off the floor and your middle will shine. Even longer took a one-armed push-up.

8. Stand on one foot during arm exercises.

Do you want to strengthen your shoulders or build your biceps? Well, you could also do your core training. If you put pressure on the shoulders, biceps curls or triceps extensions, stand on one leg. Not only will your abs and back work to keep you upright with a straight spine, but the gluteal muscles of your standing leg will also be inflated to maintain stability. More muscle engaged equals more calories burned.

9. Take a sandbag.

Use any device that brings variable dynamics (i.e. without a solid surface), and that forces you to sweat more as you try to stay stable. For example, if the sand of a sandbag moves while you push, pull, or throw it, the stability challenge increases. The same goes for BOSU or stability balls.

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