The core is a very crucial part of the human body. As one begins to age, it gets weaker and leads to lower back injury problems.
It is vital to take care of the core by making sure you work it out regularly.
The stability of core gets tested during various physical activities, and with age, it gets weaker and weaker unless you work on it.
Your body needs to be supported by a stable core when you perform deadlifts and squats.
Here is top sure shot core strengthening exercises that will help you a great deal.
Six Pack Abs Exercise #1: Planks
- Start off in the push-up position, putting your elbows on a yoga mat. Make sure that the elbows and your fists are in one straight line.
- Keep your core contracted and the spine as long as possible. Visualize a parallel body position to the floor and reach for it.
- Flexing the abs muscles and squeezing your glutes, hold this position until you start feeling the burn in your core. It is when the real activation of core stabilizer muscles starts.
Hold this position for 20-25 seconds and perform 3-4 reps daily.
There are various variations of planks. You can do the side planks to work your oblique muscles. Once you get used to the exercise, perform weighted planks that will test your core further.
Plank twists and plank up-downs are some of the dynamic variations of this static core building exercise.
This exercise is not only for gym freaks but also for people who complain of lower back injury issues and for people who want to improve body flexibility, correct the spine and improve breathing capacity.
Six Pack Abs Exercise #2: Abdominal crunches
- Lie flat on your back on a gym mat, and place your feet on a wall. Make sure the knees are bent, and they make a 90-degree angle with the hips.
- Ensure you do not move your neck. To do so, keep a cross with your arms around your chest.
- Place your head and shoulders away from the ground and start raising your body upwards by focusing on the abs. Inhale on the way up and exhale on the way down.
Perform 10-12 repetitions, 2-3 sets.
Six Pack Abs Exercise #3: Segmental rotation
- Lie back on the gym mat such that your knees are facing upwards.
- Place your knees to your left and keep the shoulders rested flat on the mat. Don’t stretch too far with your knees, maintain a neutral position.
- Return the knees to the initial position and then stretch them at a comfortable distance to your left. The whole rotation counts as one rep. Repeat 10 more times, and do 2 to 3 more sets.
This exercise not only works your abs and core muscles but also gives a nice stretching to your lower back.¹
Six Pack Abs Exercise #4: Leg lifts
- Lie flat on the yoga mat and place your hands behind your head.
- Start lifting your feet off the mat and keep them straight. You can even maintain a slight bend in your knees.
- Tighten the abdominal muscles and squeeze your glutes. Raise the legs till they are almost perpendicular to the ground. Visualize an “L” shape and reach for that position.
- Return to the original position. It counts as one repetition. You can repeat this rep 10-12 times, and perform 2-3 sets.
Six Pack Abs Exercise #5: Bicycle exercise
- Placing your hands behind your head, lie down on the floor and gently lift off your shoulders and head from the floor.
- Bring your knees inward towards the chest without changing the stability of your position.
- Do the “cycling” motion with your feet, bringing one leg towards the chest at a time. Try to touch the knee with the alternate side elbow. For instance, if the right knee is forward, try to touch it with the left elbow.
Continue this for 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps for each leg.
Six Pack Abs Exercise #6: Exercise ball crunches
- Lie flat on an exercise ball, sitting on your lower back.
- Cross the arms over your chest and start contracting your abs. Gently lift your upper body off the ball.
- Your stability will be checked in this exercise. Try to keep the ball stable, preventing it from to and fro movement when you are doing the repetitions.
- Lower your body again, stretching your abs muscles fully and complete 12-15 reps and 2-3 more sets.
Doing crunches by sitting on the exercise ball strengthen the core like no other exercise.
The stabilizer muscles are activated when you are resisting the motion of the ball. The very act of trying to maintain the inertia of the exercise ball is working your core muscles.