Core activation exercises are a must for anyone who wants to look and feel their best. A strong core is essential for good posture, joint stability, and an overall sleek appearance. In this article, we will discuss the 12 best core activation exercises you can do to achieve all of these goals!
Core Activation Exercises
The basic plank is a core activation exercise that strengthens and stabilizes your core muscles. It also works to improve your posture and increase core strength. To do the plank, get into a push-up position with your elbows placed on the ground slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your core tight and hold this pose for 30 seconds or longer, depending on how strong you are.
The Side Bridge
This move targets both your upper and lower abdominal muscles as well as your obliques to help build a stable core foundation. To perform the side bridge, lie down on one side with your feet stacked in line with each other and prop yourself up onto one arm. Keep your core tight and raise your hips off the ground as high as possible before lowering back down to the starting position.
The Reverse Crunch
The reverse crunch is also a great core activation exercise that can help you strengthen and tone your core muscles. To do this move, lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place your hands behind your head and lift both legs up towards your chest at the same time, squeezing through the core. Then slowly lower them back down to the starting position for one rep.
Panther Shoulder Tap
The Panther Shoulder Tap is a great way to work your core without doing a lot of crunches. Just get down on all fours, making sure your back is flat and your abs are engaged.
Then, put your right hand on your left shoulder and tap it lightly. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left hand on your right shoulder. Continue for 30 seconds or until you start to feel the burn in your abs.
This exercise may not look like much, but it’s a great way to target your core muscles. And, best of all, you can do it anywhere – no equipment required! Try adding the Panther Shoulder Tap to your next workout and see how it feels.
If you’re looking for a core exercise that’s both effective and a little bit quirky, the Russian twist is a great option. This move targets the obliques, which are the muscles that run along the sides of the stomach.
To do the Russian twist, start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat. lean back slightly so that your abs are engaged, and then twist your torso to one side. Hold for a few seconds, and then twist to the other side. As you twist, be sure to keep your back straight and your shoulders down.
You can also add weight to the move by holding a medicine ball or dumbbell in front of your chest. The Russian twist may not be the most glamorous core exercise out there, but it’s certainly one of the most effective. So give it a try next time you’re looking to work those abs.
The butterfly sit-up is a great exercise for your core. It’s simple to do and doesn’t require any equipment. Plus, it’s a pretty fun exercise.
Here’s how to do it: Start by lying on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on your stomach. Then, slowly sit up, bringing your knees toward your chest as you go.
As you sit up, flutter your wings (i.e., move your arms up and down in a flapping motion). Once you’re upright, hold the position for a few seconds before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise for 10-15 repetitions.
The dead bug is a great core exercise that can be done just about anywhere. It’s also a great way to get rid of any excess energy you may have after a long day.
To do the dead bug, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on your thighs. Contract your abdominal muscles and press your lower back into the ground.
Lift your right leg off the ground and extend it straight out in front of you. At the same time, lift your left arm off the ground and extend it straight out in front of you. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position.
Repeat with the opposite limb and continue alternating until all reps are complete. The dead bug is a great way to get a workout in without having to go to the gym. It’s also a great exercise for those who are new to working out because it’s simple and easy to do. Give it a try today!
Half-Kneeling Wood Chop
The half-kneeling wood chop is a great exercise for your core. To do the move, start in a half-kneeling position with your left knee on the ground and your right foot planted firmly in front of you. Place your left hand on the ground and your right hand on a medicine ball or weight.
From here, twist your torso to the right, as if you’re trying to touch your right elbow to the ground. Then reverse the motion, twisting to the left and bringing the medicine ball or weight up above your head. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
The half-kneeling wood chop is a great exercise for your core because it challenges your obliques (the muscles on the sides of your stomach) and your rectus abdominis (the “six-pack” muscle).
Plus, it’s a functional move that mimics everyday activities like picking up a heavy object off the ground. So if you’re looking for a move that will help tone your midsection and make everyday activities easier, add the half-kneeling wood chop to your workout routine.
High Boat to Low Boat
We’ve all been there. You’re in the gym, minding your own business, and working up a sweat when someone comes over and starts giving you unsolicited advice. “You should try this exercise,” they say.
“It’s great for your core.” The exercise in question is the high boat to low boat, and while it may indeed be great for your core, it’s also a bit of a pain to perform.
First, you have to get into the high boat position, which requires some balance and flexibility. Then, you have to lower yourself into the low boat position without toppling over.
It’s not easy, but it is a great way to exercise your core muscles. Just be careful that you don’t pull a muscle in the process.
The side bend is a great way to work your core muscles and improve your flexibility. To do the side bend, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
Then, raise your right arm overhead and bend to the left, reaching for your left foot with your right hand. Be sure to keep your back straight and avoid rounding your shoulders as you bend. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Try to do 10-15 repetitions on each side. The side bend is a great exercise for toning your abs and improving your flexibility. So give it a try next time you’re looking for a challenging core workout.
Hollow Hold to Jackknife
First, start in the hollow hold position. Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides. Engage your abs and lift your head, shoulders, and lower back off the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds or longer.
Next, add the jackknife by bringing your knees in toward your chest while still maintaining the hollow hold. Then slowly extend your legs back out to the starting position. Repeat this movement for 20-30 reps.
To perform a leg raise, lie on your back with your legs extended straight. Slowly lift one leg off of the ground, keeping the knee straight.
Hold for a moment before lowering back down. Repeat with the other leg. For an added challenge, try lifting both legs at the same time. Remember to keep the abs engaged throughout the exercise to maximize its effectiveness.
The leg raise is a simple yet effective exercise for strengthening the core. Give it a try next time you’re looking to add some variety to your workout routine.
For best results, combine core activation exercises with other types of workouts such as weight lifting, cardio, and stretching for an overall balanced fitness routine. Remember to always listen to your body – use proper form when exercising and rest when necessary. That way, you can maximize your workout efforts for optimal results in the long run! Good luck!