A strong, sleek core not only looks good, but it is essential to help you complete everyday tasks and perform at your best.
But your core is not just limited to your abs (six pack or not), the rectus abdominus muscles or your external obliques (the muscles along the side of your waist). Your core is a system of internal and external muscles running from your cervical spine or neck, down to your sacrum (tailbone).
These muscles work together and against each other to produce seemingly simple movements. So, strengthening your core muscles is as important for a couch potato as it is an athlete.
One of my favorite ways to strengthen all of my core muscles are plank exercises. They are not only great for conditioning your core, they also work your glutes and hamstrings, support proper posture and improve balance.
Try this 5-move plank workout three to five times per week for a stronger core:
1. Front plank - hold for 20 to 30 seconds
2. Side plank right side - hold for 20 to 30 seconds
3. Side plank left side - hold for 20 to 30 seconds
4. Glute bridge - hold for 30 seconds
5. Lying side hip raises - 5 to 10 reps
Repeat all five exercises for 2 to 3 sets.
Find your strength at Carilion Wellness!
Before performing any exercise consult your physician for clearance. Stop exercising immediately if you feel lightheaded, dizzy or have chest pains.