Having a strong and stable core is a primary necessity for achieving physical goals at the gym. Performing strenuous exercises often requires us to involve specific groups of our muscles and a stronger core can facilitate that by minimizing chances of injury and maximizing potential. Hence; if you are working out towards a more sound physical health performing these exercises will help you strengthen your core muscles and going the extra mile at gym.
Probably one of the best yet one of the most underrated exercises for improving core strength and stability, planks offer a full body static workout. This isometric posture involves working out of all the major muscle groups in our body, especially the core muscles. Not only it aims towards strengthening the core muscle group but also improves posture and body balance. While planks offer innumerable options for experiments as you gradually move up the proficiency level, even the basic form of this exercise will help you reap fabulous benefits. To come to a basic plank position, lay down flat on your chest and keep your elbows rested on the ground, in front of your head. Move your body up, keeping it balanced on the toes and elbows, so that your body appears like a bridge. Keep your head parallel to the ground and your stomach tightly tucked-in. Maintain normal breathing in this position and try to hold it for a minimum of 30 seconds.
Repeat the same 2-3 times in a row.
Another great alternative to tone and strengthen those core ab muscles is to move into a side plank position. While it offers almost all the benefits of a normal plank, it targets the side ab muscles to combat those hard to reduce love handles and tiers. Beginners can practice this form on their elbows and then gradually try to balance their entire body on their palms. To start, lay sideways on a flat surface, keeping your feet stacked over each other and one of your elbows rested on the ground. Keeping your back, hips and legs straight, pull up your body, so as to form a triangle with the ground.
Maintain the position for 30 to 60 seconds and then practice the same on your other elbow.
A simple form that can be easily practiced anywhere, leg raises involve working out and strengthening the core abdominal muscles at the same time. To perform this exercise, lay flat on the ground over your back and keep your hands positioned adjacent to your body. Now tuck your palms below your glutes to support the lower back. Crunching your core muscles, lift both your legs up while exhaling. Bring up your legs to level where you can point your toes straight towards the ceiling and then slowly bring down your legs while inhaling. Without making your feet touch the ground, pull up your legs again as you did last time.
Repeat the exercise for 10 to 15 times.
A fabulous core strengthening exercise, the bicycle crunches exert a ripping effect on the abdominal muscles to deliver nice and flat abs. For this, lay flat on a yoga mat, keeping your legs lifted towards the ceiling. Bend your legs at the knees and keep the tower part of your legs parallel to the ground. Rest your palms below your head and in this position, crunch up towards your knees, bring the right elbow and left knee closer at one time and then alternating with the other elbow and knee as you move them up and down in a circle. Keep your legs rotating as if you are cycling and bring the diagonally opposite elbow to almost meet the knee.
Lunges help to strengthen core muscles while also working out the thigh and leg muscles and improving body balance and stability. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and holding your arms adjacent to your torso, folding your palms in a fist.
Now keeping your torso straight, push back one of your legs to straighten it out completely and fold the other knee as in a sitting posture. Maintain your breathing pattern normally and then pull back the stretched leg to come back to the neutral position. Lunge with the other leg and continue the motion alternating with your legs for 15 to 20 repetitions.
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