10 Exercises to Build Your Core
Full disclosure before I dive deep into core exercises...you CAN’T spot reduce fat. Meaning, these exercises are not the key to finding your 6-pack!
However, strengthening your core can help you build your balance and stability so you avoid injury and perform better out in the world and in the gym. When paired with a weight loss plan that helps you shed the fat covering your midsection, these exercises will help those abs pop.
Just a reminder though...your core is not just about your abs. Strengthening your back muscles should also be part of your core workout, so I’ve included a couple moves that focus on the back in addition to some surprising ab toners!
Sprints: This might seem like a weird thing to put in a core workout post, but it is one of the best ways to both shed fat and tone your core. Don’t believe me? Run 10 sprints and tell me how your abs feel the next day. If you are doing them properly...you will feel those abs with a fierceness!
Kettlebell Swings: This might also seem strange for this list, and I admit this is not just a core move. Kettlebell swings will hit both your upper and lower body while working your core. However, as you use your core to stabilize your body during your swing, you will be working both your abs and your back. If you are ever pressed on time, kettlebell swings are a great way to hit multiple muscle groups in one simple move!
Planks: Planks are great because they can be done anywhere and there are like a million different variations you can do with this move. Planks are a major core builder, and when done properly, will also strengthen both the abs and the back!
Stomach Vacuums: These are a simple move that Heidi Powell introduced me to via social media. These are a great way to get some core work in while warming up!
Leg Lifts: If you work out in a gym, you’ve got to get some leg lifts in every now and then. These are killer on the abs and a great way to strengthen your core!
Russian Twists: Russian twists are a great option because they can be done with or without weight, depending on your comfort and fitness level. They also target your obliques (your outside ab muscles) so that you can be sure you are hitting that core from all angles.
Bicycles: This simple variation on a crunch will help you target your upper abs, lower abs and your obliques...all at once! You’ve got to love a move that will do some double duty, so throwing these into the end of a workout will help you get the core work taken care of!
Mountain Climbers: This is another full body move that will do some major core building while helping you elevate that heart rate for maximum fat burn. In addition to your core, you will feel these big time in your shoulders!
Superman: This move focuses entirely on your lower back. This part of the body is important for women to strengthen as it is an area that is commonly injured either at the gym, or out in the world while picking things up.
Hyperextension: Hyperextensions are similar to Supermans in that they target the lower back. However, these will also hit your hamstrings and glutes, so they do some extra work for you! You will need to do these at a gym, unless you have an extension bench at home!
Strengthening your core will help you increase your stability and balance so that you can perform better in the gym and avoid injury. When paired with a healthy diet and weight loss plan, these moves will help you build your midsection so that once the fat is gone, your abs really pop!