Top core exercises to do at home
Isolation is the perfect time to work on that six pack you’ve had on your mood board all this time. Requiring minimal space, we’ve rounded up the absolute best moves for your core.
This isometric core exercise that will strengthen your spine, abdominal muscles and help with posture. If you’re a beginner, start on your knees and hold for as long as you can. Make sure your back is flat and breathe throughout the exercise. Progress to toes if you can maintain correct technique. Beginners should aim for 30 seconds, intermediate for 2-3mins and experienced for 5 minutes or more.
This simple move comes with big rewards. Designed to strengthen and tone your body, the simple sit up comes with big rewards. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your fingertips behind your ears with your elbows pointed out. Without lifting your feet off the ground, curl your upper body upward toward your thighs. Keep your head in line with your body. Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-30 reps.
Possibly the most aptly named exercise, the dead bug is a safe and effective way to strengthen and stabilise your core, spine and back muscles. This improves your posture and can also help with balance and coordination. The dead bug exercise involves lying face up on your mat with your arms in the air above your torso and your legs in the air with your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Then, lower your opposite arm and leg toward the floor (in the opposite directions) in a slow and controlled fashion. Return to centre and then repeat on the other side. Aim for 12-15 each side, rest for 30-secs then repeat.
Change up your plank game with a side plank. This plank alternative is great for strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles, along with the glutes to stabilise the hips. And your arms will also join in the fun as your shoulder stabilisers will also be used.
Start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder so your shoulder is raised off the floor. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet. Hold the position without letting your hips drop for the allotted time for 15-60 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Buckle up for a proper core sesh with this move. The jack knife is designed to strengthen the upper and lower abdominal muscles. This exercise also recruits muscles in the thighs and glutes.
To do the jack knife, lie flat on the floor with your arms and legs extended. Take a deep breath before you begin. Exhale and contract your abs, raising both arms and legs. Try to keep your legs straight and bring them up so they’re at about a 35-45 degree angle to the floor.
At the same time, bring your arms up and over your head so that they’re parallel to your legs. Your upper body should be raised slightly off the floor. Inhale as you lower your arms and legs slowly to the starting position. If you need an option for this move keep your legs bent and reach above your knees; this will help to lessen the pressure on your lower back. Repeat 8-12 reps per set and aim to complete 2-3 sets.
Why not complete a Core circuit; hold the plank till fatigue and the side planks for 30 seconds each side, complete 30 reps of each of the other exercises for 3 rounds.