If you talk to anyone that’s getting into fitness and ask them their goals, most of them will come back with the same thing; I want a strong core. So, they start doing crunches, planks, and loads of other ab workouts as they believe this will enable them to have a strong core.
Strengthening your abs is something everyone should do as it has a lot of benefits beyond the aesthetics. However, you also need to strengthen the other muscles in your core as well. Already, I can see some of you raising an eyebrow at this. Hang on, aren’t abs and core the same thing? No, they’re not, and this is a very common fitness mistake that people make all the time. As it shows on https://breakingmuscle.com, your core is a group of muscles that offer stability and are often firing during different exercises and activities. While the abs are included in this, they’re not the only muscle involved.
As such, if you want a strong core, you need to train other muscles as well as your abdominals. This includes your glutes, pelvic floor muscles, obliques, serratus anterior, lower back, and many other deeper muscles that often don’t get trained. Have no fear, this guide will teach you how to train all of these muscles, either independently or as a group. I’ve got a fair few exercises you can try as well as some activities that functionally strengthen these muscles.
So, without waiting around any longer, let’s take a look at how you can build a stronger core:
Best Exercises For A Strong Core
To start things off, we’ll look at my top exercises you can do in the gym – or at home – for a stronger core. If you want, you can put these together to form your own core workout.
Planking is my favorite core exercises as it works so many different muscles and helps improve stability. There are two types of plank you should do; a standard one and a side one. The side plank engages your obliques more, which helps develop a more well-rounded core. Make sure you plank correctly, so you’re engaging your abs, keeping your glutes tight, and not letting that lower back arch.
As far as compound movements go, the deadlift and romanian deadlift is a great core strengthener. It works everything from your pelvic muscles to your glutes and even requires you to stabilize your lower back by engaging your abs. Too many people perform this exercise incorrectly and don’t get proper core engagement. You can find an extensive guide on sites like https://stronglifts.com that will show you exactly how to perform one properly.
This exercise is often called hip thrusts and is essential for core development. It mainly targets your glutes, but it also requires you to engage your pelvic floor muscles and keep your abs tight. In doing so, it helps protect and strengthen your lower back too. The key is to really keep your glutes firing and engage those abs the whole time too. You can add weight if you want to progress.
Best Two Activities For A Strong Core
Moving away from the gym, there are certain activities you can do that help you build a strong core. It’s well worth adding these into your fitness routine whenever you can as they really work on the functional strength of your core. I’ve decided to only pick two as I think they’re a) the best ones around, and b) easy to integrate into anyone’s weekly routine.
There are few activities that engage the core muscles better than swimming does. No matter what stroke you’re doing, you’re always working those key muscles. To make it even better, you’re getting them to work together which helps you train your core functionally. Kicking your legs is great for building glute strength, while the simple act of swimming engages your main abs as well as the deeper transverse abdominals.
The great thing is, swimming is very easy to do. All you have to do is find yourself a swimming pool where you can swim lengths for half an hour or so. One word of advice for any girls out there with long hair, get a swim cap to keep it all out of your face. You can see there are loads of different styles on sites like https://swimcapz.com/, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one. I will also point out that swimming burns calories which will help you drop your body fat percentage and make your abs and core muscles stand out more.
Yoga is one of the best activities for a stronger core as it trains you to activate your muscles properly. When you’re doing yoga, the aim is to get into poses and hold them for a short period. This static hold is what really engages the muscles and gets your core firing. What’s more, the poses will often require you to work different muscles together. For example, you could be squeezing your glutes, activating your pelvic floor muscles, and tightening your abs all at the same time.
Again, yoga is very easy to do, and you have the benefit of being able to do it at home on your own. There are loads of videos out there that can teach you certain poses to try out if you want to strengthen your core. I also advise you to wear comfortable clothes that allow you to stretch and bend easily. Yoga is a lot harder when you have restrictive clothing, and it can stop you from activating your core properly. A twenty-minute yoga session every day will go a long way to building a solid core.
Take all of this advice into consideration if you want a stronger core. We’re not just talking about abs here, we’re talking about strengthening all your core muscles and seeing the benefits this brings to your workouts. You’ll be able to lift heavier weights, feel less pain in your back, and have more stability during your movements.
A reminder of my articles from my post here:
- “Things that may cause your fatigue at home”
- “How to plan your vacation by yourself?”
- “First date tips for women”
- “Common mistakes women make in a relationship”
- “Why we should be careful with chemicals?”
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