There are a bunch of simple daily activities that rely on your body’s core strength. If your “core” isn’t as strong as it should be, your posture, balance, and stability can suffer greatly. Needless to say, the better your core strength, the better your overall fitness will be. So get ready to get those abs in the best shape possible, because we spoke with Maggie Priore, a personal trainer on Fyt, who shares the best exercises for a strong core. (If you didn’t know, Fyt is the nation’s largest personal training service that makes fitness under the expert guidance of a certified fitness professional, in-person or virtual, convenient and accessible to everyone.)
Trainers love the moves below, so add them to your workout routine and you’ll see noticeable results. Read on to learn about the best exercises for a strong core, and then don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong, Tone Arms in 2022, the trainer says.
Get ready to work your lower abs with Leg Raise Variations. Start by lying down and bringing your legs up to 90 degrees to perform the basic version of this move. Priore explains, “Lower your legs until they’re about a foot off the floor. If you feel your back or hip flexors starting to compensate, don’t lower your legs as low. You can also bend the knees to modify the exercise. More advanced people can do hanging leg raises where you hang from a bar and raise your legs 90 degrees.” Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.
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According to Priore, planks are a “simple” yet truly stellar exercise for working your core. If performing a traditional plank is too difficult, you can modify it by positioning yourself on your knees or your hands. Note that a forearm plank is more difficult.
“Remember to engage your glutes and bring your elbows towards your heels, this will help ‘strengthen’ your core,” says Priore. “If a regular plank is too easy, you can do variations to make the plank less stable (hip drop, going up and down on your hands, etc.). Don’t forget to try side planks too!” Complete 3 sets of 30 to 60 seconds.
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Okay, Deadlifts may not sound like a targeted exercise, but Priore emphasizes that it should be a full-body move when done correctly. Start by working on good form without incorporating extra weight. Once your form is solid, slowly add the extra weight.
Priore says, “Place dumbbells or a barbell in your hands, holding them parallel to the front of your body. Stand hip-distance apart and lean forward while bending your knees slightly, lowering weights toward the floor Use your hips, glutes, and Engage your core throughout the exercise, but especially when returning from the deadlift Think from the navel to the spine and feel the same brace feeling as when doing a plank, perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
If you’re looking for more mind and body inspiration, be sure to check out Get a Flatter Stomach With These Quick Daily Exercises, Trainer Says, and 5 Simple Hobbies to Help You Live an Incredibly Healthy Life. Being on track to hitting your workout goals starts with having key healthy habits on deck, like following a nutritious diet. In these pieces, we explore how you can get in shape “the fun and easy way”, in addition to ultra-productive daily movements that will help you achieve a flat stomach.
Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and bringing readers compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care. Read more