A strong core is about more than having a sexy and toned midsection. Functional core training is about power, strength and stabilization. Core muscles create a solid base for your body, allowing you to stay upright and stand strong on your two feet. Stop wasting your precious time! Let’s strengthen your midsection and carve out washboard abs with these challenging moves.
- BIRD DOG
The Bird Dog exercise helps strengthen core muscles and stabilize the spine. It improves posture control, reduces lower back pain, and strengthens the shoulder muscles.
START: Get down on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Without allowing your lower back to rise or round, brace your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Maintain this contraction.
FINISH: Raise your right arm and left leg until they’re in line with your body. Pause, and then return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg. Continue to alternate back and forth. Try to keep your hips and lower back still, even as you switch arms and legs.
- ABS ROLLING
Are you working out like a beast to get a solid steel core? Forget all ineffective methods, it’s time for you to change your whole life with AB Roller Wheel! The Ab Wheel is ideal for targeting your abs, shoulders, arms, and back, thus toning and strengthening your upper body. The dual wheels offer great stability during hard workouts so you can constantly practice for hours and get ripped 6-pack abs in a mean time as you desire.
START: Begin in a kneeling position with your hands gripping the handles of the ab wheel. Position the ab wheel beneath your chest.
FINISH: Engage your abs and slowly roll forward until your belly is just above the floor, keeping your arms extended in front of you. Avoid arching your back or piking your hips in the air. The lower you go, the harder the move becomes, so feel free to start with a partial range of motion at first. When your arms are fully extended, return to starting position by rolling back in to your knees.
- RENEGADE ROW
The Renegade Row is a multi-purpose, multi-joint exercise that increases strength in the back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps. This two-in-one exercise will also actively engage the core throughout the range of motion.
START: Place two kettlebells or dumbbells on the floor about shoulder width apart. Position yourself on your toes and your hands as though you were doing a pushup, with the body straight and extended. Use the handles of the kettlebells to support your upper body. You may need to position your feet wide for support.
FINISH: Push one kettlebell into the floor and row the other kettlebell, retracting the shoulder blade of the working side as you flex the elbow, pulling it to your side. Then lower the kettlebell to the floor and begin the kettlebell in the opposite hand. Repeat for several reps.
- HANGING LEG RAISE
The Hanging Leg Raise is one of the best exercises for developing abdominal and core strength. Raising your legs engages all of your abdominal muscles, including the lower abs—making makes the exercise better than Crunches, which only engage the upper abs.
START: Hang from a chin-up bar with both arms extended at arms length in top of you using either a wide grip or a medium grip. The legs should be straight down with the pelvis rolled slightly backwards.
FINISH: Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Exhale as you perform this movement and hold the contraction for a second or so. Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
NOTE: Perform this exercise slowly and deliberately as it takes some getting used to. Also, do not be hasty and try to use weights on the first time; you’ll have enough in your hands by holding your weight and also learning how to balance yourself so that you avoid swinging your torso.
- MOUNTAIN CLIMBER
The mountain climber is a dynamic exercise that increases core strength and stability through repeated lower-body motion while the upper body works to stabilize the rest of the body. The movement may also be used for improving cardiovascular endurance.
START: Get into the pushup position with your arms completely straight and directly beneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
FINISH: Squeeze your abs, lift one foot off the floor, and bring your knee up toward your chest while keeping your body in as straight a line as possible. Return to the starting position, and repeat the movement with your opposite leg.