The core muscles that make up the center of your body are vital to your overall fitness. A strong core can lead to increased performance and injury prevention. You can perform a variety of core exercises at home with little technical expertise or expensive equipment. Even though the exercises are simple in concept, they are still powerful in strengthening and stabilizing your core.
One of the best core exercises for the lower back is called the Floor Prone Cobra. Start by lying face down with your arms at a 45-degree angle and your palms facing down. Arch your upper body backward, stretching your arms back with your palms naturally turning upward. Return to the starting position. This movement is one repetition. Use a slow, controlled movement. Strive for three sets of 20 repetitions, with a 30-second rest period between sets.
The Russian twist works your abdominal and adjoining muscles. Start by sitting upright with your arms crossed and away from your trunk. With your knees bent and spread apart, lean your upper body back slightly while pulling your feet off the floor. Balance on your buttocks. Twist your upper body so that your left elbow touches your right knee and twist back to neutral position. Then twist your upper body in the other direction, with your right elbow touching your left knee. Return to neutral position. This is one repetition. Strive for three sets of 15 repetitions, with a 30-second rest period between sets.
The one-legged Romanian deadlift can help you improve your balance. Start by standing upright with your feet together and your arms at your sides. To perform the exercise, lean over and touch your right hand to your left toes. Simultaneously, raise your right leg up high toward the rear. Keep your back and legs straight and pivot at your waist. Rise to the neutral position while lowering your leg. Alternate by simultaneously touching your left hand to your right toes while raising your left leg, and return to the neutral position. This is one repetition. Maintain balance with slow, controlled movements. Strive for three sets of 15 repetitions, with a 30-second rest period between sets.
About Your Core
Your core muscles include the abdominal and intercostal muscles in the front, the oblique muscles on your sides and erector spinae muscles in your lower back. These muscles provide your entire body with stability and strength. With each exercise session, warm up and cool down with five to 10 minutes of full-body movements, such as slow jogging or jumping rope. Doing core exercises regularly every other day will help you achieve favorable results. Incorporate core exercises within your regular exercise program and enjoy your new sense of stability and strength. Consult your physician before starting a new exercise program.
- The Power of Personal Training: Personal Trainer Certification Manual; John Platero
- You Are Your Own Gym; Mark Lauren
- NASM: National Academy of Sports Medicine: Training