Core Workouts: 5
Exercises That You Can Do Right Now
Core workouts are vital to the success of any exercise program. They
strengthen the deep core muscles of the back, pelvis and abdomen, and
help your body sustain the impact of workouts directed at other muscle
groups. Without strength at the core, you are much more likely to
suffer muscle strain from your other exercises.
Focus on breathing throughout this workout. The breathing should be
relaxed and deep. Consciously tighten the transversus abdominis during
and relax it at the end of each rep. You can perform the exercises on a
yoga mat or on a carpeted floor. Start with 3-7 reps and build up to
This abdominal crunch is performed lying on your back on the floor with
feet up against a wall. The thighs come straight up from the hips and
the knees are bent so that the calves are horizontal and feet flat
against the wall.
Cross the arms over the chest (don't have them behind the head, this
can strain the neck). Tighten the abs and raise the head and shoulders
off the floor. Hold for 2-3 breaths and relax down.
Away from the wall, lie on your back on the floor with knees bent up
and feet flat on the floor. Arms are stretched out along the floor with
hands flat for balance.
Raise the hips until the body forms a straight line from shoulders to
knees, keeping the shoulders on the floor. Hold for 2-3 breaths and
Start in the same position as for the bridge. Lift the left leg and
bring the right hand against the left knee, keeping the head straight
and the right shoulder on the floor. The left arm remains stretched out
on the floor for balance.
Press the knee and hand against each other. The abdominal muscles
should be working to try to bring the knee up toward the shoulders and
the hand just provides resistance. Hold for 2-3 breaths then repeat on
the other side.
You can also do a two-leg abdominal press. Bring the knees up together
and press them against both hands.
Again on your back on the floor with the knees up and arms stretched
out along the floor, take the knees to one side and down toward the
floor. Keep the head straight and both shoulders firmly on the floor.
Don't let the knees go down further than is comfortable. If you are
very flexible you may be able to take them all the way down to the
floor without raising the opposite shoulder but most people will need
to stop before that. You should feel a stretch but no strain or pain.
Hold for 2-3 breaths, then bring the knees back up and repeat on the
Lie on your left side and raise yourself up so that you are resting on
your left forearm which is flat on the floor. The left foot is on the
floor and the right foot is on top of it. The legs are straight.
Raise yourself up on the forearm so that the body forms a straight line
from feet to head. Hips are up off the floor. The right arm is relaxed
against the right side of the body. Tighten the abs.
Hold for 2-3 breaths and repeat on the other side.
For a more intense side plank, instead of raising yourself on your
forearm, balance on the left hand only. The left arm is straight and
the shoulders much higher in the air. Again the body must form a
straight line through the hips. You can also raise the right hand,
stretching the right arm up so that the two arms form a cross with the
Always seek advice from your physician before starting any exercise
program, and for core workouts especially if you have ever had any back
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