Do These 10 Core Exercises for a Strong Core and an Awesome Ab Workout

Include these 10 core exercises in your next ab workout to strengthen your core and tone your abs. A strong core will keep you healthy and pain-free. Sculpt your abs while strengthening your core in the same workout!

Your core is your center of gravity. A strong core allows for stronger functional movement throughout exercise and everyday life. You should constantly engage your core, whether you are doing a workout, standing in the kitchen cooking a meal, or sitting down at work. 

Check out these desk-specific stretches if you’re feeling tight.

A strong core will help prevent injury and promote more efficient workouts overall.

Suffer from back or neck pain? Strengthening your core can help get rid of seemingly endless back and neck pain too. Try these exercises to loosen up your neck

You can do these ten core exercises without equipment. Strengthen your core and tone your abs whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced. Include these core exercises in your next ab workout!

1. Hollowman

I learned this move from Jillian Michaels. This is an isometric core exercise, meaning it has no movement. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Keep your low back on the ground.

2. High Plank

This is my absolute favorite core exercise of all time. I do plank variations in every single workout. If I had to do one core exercise for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Tip:

Try out these great plank variations. Do you already know all of them? Ever heard of dynamic planks?

3. Bridge

Most people think that a bridge is for your glutes. Bridge is also a fantastic core strengthening exercise when performed correctly with your hips tucked and low abdominals engaged.

4. Superman pull

This move really targets the low back. In fact, many people suffer from low back pain because their core (including their low back) is really weak. Skip the “pull” part and just practice raising your arms and legs off of the ground if you find this core exercise too difficult.

5. V-ups

This move took me a while to master. The full V-up is pretty advanced, but you can always do the modified version as you work up to it. Once you master the V-up, you can even try holding a weighted medicine ball in your hands.

6. V-sit

See how long you can do this ab exercise move without shaking! Bend your knees if extending your legs is too difficult. Make sure that your shoulders stay down and away from your ears.

7.  Plank knee crosses

Exhale and blow all the air out of your lungs as you pull that knee towards the opposite elbow. The idea is to get as close as possible can and aim for the outside of the elbow.

Mastered this core exercise? Try doing them slower for an even bigger challenge!

8. Leg raises

This move should not hurt your low back. If it does, place your hands underneath your low back for support and/or don’t drop your legs down as low. This exercise is meant to work your core and abs, not hurt them. Always listen to your body’s signals.

9. Elbow plank twists

This core exercise is the perfect addition to your next ab workout. Think of yourself like a towel that needs wringing out as you do this exercise.

10. Plank shoulder taps

As you can probably tell by now, I love planks! This plank variation is excellent for challenging your balance and core strength. 

Avoid rocking your hips and body from side to side when doing the shoulder taps. The only motion that should be happening is your hand moving to the opposite shoulder. 

Work at it, and you will get it!

You

should be engaging your core during every workout as well as everyday activities. Your core is your powerhouse and the key to overall fitness.

Try to incorporate these core exercises into your next ab workout. A strong core is more than sculpted abs. Luckily, you can have both when you add these core and ab exercises to your workouts.

Do you want world champion diver Tom Daley’s core strength and abs? Sample his world-class training by doing the core exercises and ab workout inspired by Tom in the video below!

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Lunden Souza Lunden Souza is an Online Fitness & Lifestyle Transformation Coach. She helps people all over the world create a sustainable healthy lifestyle, so they'll never have to "start over" again! Connect with @lifelikelunden for real-life strategies to get on track for long-term health in both body and mind. View all posts by Lunden Souza »