The Best Exercises to Build Your Core

There is a common misconception that to get that perfectly strong core you need to avoid carbs at all costs and spend every waking moment at the gym. However, that’s not the case. There is an abundance of core building exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home, and help you to build those core muscles fast. What’s more, you can still indulge in the occasional cake…

Building your core muscles is also about more than just looking good, it’s about feeling good as well. Your core muscles are your body’s framework, and they protect your organs, help you to move, and stabilize your entire body.

Add these exercises to your repertoire, and benefit from a stronger core than you’ve ever had before.

Crunch

Crunches target your upper abdominal muscles, and they are a popular addition to many different workout routines. To complete the perfect crunch, you lie on the ground with your hands behind your head, and your knees bent forward. Lift your upper back and shoulders off the ground in a forward motion, while pushing your lower back to the ground. Complete in sets of ten and enjoy the burn as you tone those upper abs.


Side Plank

Similar to a standard plank, a side plank works your oblique muscles and can be held for 30 seconds to a minute, or in 10 seconds lots if you’re new to core-building exercises. Just lie on your side, bend your arm at the elbow, and put it beneath your shoulder. Your hand should be placed on your hip. Make sure your shoulders, head, hips, and ankles are all aligned, and force your body toward the ceiling. You should be balancing on your shoe with your feet crossed over each other.

Bicycle Kick

Bicycle kicks are an effective form of core-building exercise that targets your lower abs and oblique muscles. In similar fashion to riding a bicycle, but on the ground, lie on your back and extend your legs upward as if you were pedaling a bike. Have your hands folded across your chest. As you “pedal” with your legs, move one leg forward while twisting the opposite shoulder upward, then alternate.

Scissor Crunch

Crunches are a very effective core exercise, so it’s of no surprise that they appear three times in this article. Scissor crunches, however, work your lower abs. Lie on your back, put your feet together, and extend your legs outwards. Put your hands behind your head, while keeping your elbows apart. Put one foot upwards while keeping the other extended outward, and do a standard crunch. However, you’ll also be lowering your upper body to the floor and then switching legs.

Reverse Crunch

Also targeting your lower abs is a reverse crunch. This exercise involves you lying on the floor, pressing your lower back to the ground, and putting your hands behind your head. You then cross your legs by crossing your ankles and lifting your feet up. As you feel your abs contract and “burn,” pull your lower back off the floor. Let your legs reach toward the ceiling as you pull yourself up. It’s the ultimate ab workout!

There are so many different core building exercises to choose from, but these five are some of the most effective. Include any (or all) of them into your workout regime, and tone that beach body for summer!