The Best 3 Exercises For Core Strength
18 April 2019
Who enjoys doing sit-ups, really? Even with a supportive gym mat below the lower back, they can not only be arduous but also painful – and not in the ‘feel the burn’ way you’re looking for. However, core strength is important, nonetheless. Thankfully, there are several other ways of strengthening this crucial muscle group without resorting to repetitive reps of sit-ups all day long.
We didn’t say this was going to be easy, and planking, even for a short time, can certainly be tougher than performing dozens of sit-ups. However, the results can be astonishing, and the form is easier to get right.
With sit-ups, while you’re working your chest, hip flexors, lower back and neck muscles simultaneously, it can be easy to take the pressure off each muscle group by switching your weight to another.
With planking, however, you feel exactly where the exercise is working while you’re doing it. With practice, you’ll learn to focus your attention on the area being worked out, and not just feel but also become one with the burn. In a way, regular planking involves a similar mindset to meditation, so can not only strengthen your core also lead to improved focus all round.
If you’ve never performed the exercises detailed here, then it’s certainly worth trying planking first. Getting to know how your core feels when it’s under increased strain will help you to perform these weightlifting exercises more effectively. Deadlifts and squats can both easily (or incorrectly) be performed without engaging the core muscles significantly, but are much more effective when they do.
Start with low weights, or even just the bar, when squatting – and perform each repetition slowly, engaging your core throughout the exercise. Then, identify the moment in each exercise where your core feels under the most strain, and focus on these particular moments as you become more adept at the exercises.
Well, to be more precise, the half-kneeling wood-chop. Place a low-weight dumbbell beside you, to the left, and begin on two knees without your hand touching the ground. Then, move one leg in front of the other, so that one knee is on the floor while the other is bent at 90 degrees in front of you.
Grasp the dumbbell with both hands, and move it from the lower left to the upper right of your body, with your arms outstretched throughout. During this exercise, keeping your hips forward at all times will ensure that only your core muscles twist.
Across these three exercises, every core muscle group will have received some serious attention and will become stronger and stronger over time. Boot camps are great places to both learn new core exercise and hone the exercises you’re used to – without resorting to the monotony of sit-ups!
For an extra-extravagant core workout, why not treat yourself to a boot camp based in a Portugal health retreat? On this kind of getaway, you could sip succulent juices, work on your tan and help yourself to build an enviable body.