Maybe you have friends who love exercise classes with tough ab work. They may even think it’s a great feeling to leave the gym feeling nauseous and sore. On the other hand, some of us like easy ways to strengthen your core.
Don’t worry, you can have a flat belly and a firm midsection without all the pain, or feeling like you caught the flu afterwards. A gentler workout can even help protect you from injuries to your pelvis, back, and neck.
Read the rest of this article to discover easy ways to comfortably work your core with great results. Understand the principles behind choosing and modifying abdominal exercises and learn how to design a workout that matches your own fitness level and goals.
General Principles for Strengthening Your Core the Easy Way:
It’s important to target your whole core, including your back and hips, as well as your abdominals instead of attempting to isolate muscle groups. That way, you’ll avoid muscle strains caused by putting too much pressure on weaker areas.
Honor your limits
Stop if you feel pain, especially in your lower back, and especially when you are a beginner. The exercise may be beyond your fitness level and present abilities. It could also be a sign that a specific movement isn’t well suited to your body type. The key to getting the most from any exercise routine is starting slow in the beginning and work up as your fitness improves.
Shorten your sets
Modifying an intense workout routine can be as simple as doing fewer repetitions and resting longer between them. Set your own goals rather than trying to keep up with others. It’s easy to think you must keep up with someone else to save face, but what’s the point if you wind up with sore muscles and the inability to stick to your schedule and goals.
Watch your breath
Learning and implementing skillful breathing techniques can make any exercise easier and more effective. Always be aware of holding your breath. You want to avoid that all cost because among other things, holding your breath raises blood pressure. Try exhaling during the most intense part of the exercise.
Support your weight
Many core exercises use your body weight for resistance. If you find the workout just too intense, don’t give up. Instead try lightening the load by sitting in a chair for twists. You can also try putting your knees on the floor during planks or even push ups until your strength increases.
Check your form
Ask a trainer or watch a video to be sure you’re doing an exercise correctly because proper form is much more important than getting through the routine. When you start learning how to exercise without a gym, it’s easy to forget form, but you can hurt yourself. Exercising, lifting weights, or even walking without the proper form is always an invitation for injury. Working out when you’re fatigued can also cause improper alignment and injuries.
You may already participate in some activities that strengthen your core. That includes rowing and swimming, as well as climbing stairs. Here’s one of the best and least expensive home rowing machines on the market.
See your doctor
I definitely needed to mention this, because many exercises can be safe for one individual, but risky for another. Talk with your doctor or a physical therapist about any concerns you may have about getting started. And if you encounter what you think is an injured or sprained muscle, don’t delay about seeing a physician.
Exercises for Strengthening Your Core the Easy Way:
Do a dead bug
Lie on your back with your arms raised up to the ceiling. Bend your hips and knees to a 90-degree angle. Exhale as you extend your opposite arm and leg out. Repeat on both sides.
Lower one leg
If double leg lifts strain your back, start with one side at a time. You can lower your leg down to the floor if that’s comfortable or stop when you feel any pressure on your lower back.
Raise your knees
Lift both knees while sitting in a chair or using the hanging leg raise station at your gym. You can also try it with straight legs when your strength increases.
Make a bridge
Any backbend including a gentle bridge helps to strengthen your abdominals. Lie on your back with your arms by your side and bend your knees with your feet kept on the floor. Raise your hips by pressing into your feet and upper arms. Work towards staying lifted for up to one minute.
Hold a plank
Doing planks is a key exercise that works your entire core. It can also be modified in many ways for beginners or advanced athletes. For the easiest versions, do a plank with your forearms resting against a wall or keep your knees on the ground.
A strong and flexible core makes daily activities easy and gives you power and balance. Build up your abdominals, back, and hips with a workout routine that keeps you safe while you increase your fitness.