Whether you want to tone and firm your tummy so that you look better in a bikini, or you’re just interested in improving your core strength to help you with everyday activities, doing core strengthening exercises will help you get your physique in shape. In today’s fitness guide, Inspirations & Celebrations’ Fitness Contributor, Jacqueline Hinton (a Los Angeles-based fitness expert and the CEO of Good Citizen) shares 6 core strengthening exercises to help you build a lean physique.
The importance of having a strong core cannot be overstated. Taking care of your core and strengthening it is important for maintaining proper posture and for organ function, not to mention staying away from that ever-dreaded back pain. So, when strengthening your core, you need to make sure and work the entire core: front, back, and sides. Here are some of my go-to core exercises to keep you running in tip-top shape. Remember, as these core strengthening exercises get easier, you can add more repetitions and continue to challenge yourself.
Core Strengthening Exercises:
Balance on your forearms and have a steady base with your legs reaching straight behind you, hips lifted off the ground with your body in a straight line. Hold this pose for up to one minute. Rest for one minute. Repeat 3 times.
#2 Single Leg Kicks
Lie on your back with legs in tabletop position. Lift your head off the mat and extend your legs. Draw one knee into your stomach while keeping your other leg straight. Now, switch legs. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times.
#3 Double Leg Kicks with a Tail Lift
Again, lie on your back with legs in tabletop position. Lift your head off the mat and extend your legs outward straight while squeezing them together. Then pull your legs back into tabletop position and lift your tailbone off the floor. Repeat 10 times.
Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out. They should be opened a little wider than hip distance. Lift your upper body and lower body off the floor, including your arms and legs. Your head should be in line with your body so that you are looking at the floor. Keep the back of your neck long. Begin to kick your arms and legs like your swimming. Do this for 8-10 counts. Repeat 3 times.
#5 Plank with a twist
Find a plank position with feet wider than hip distance. Float your right foot off the floor. Cross right knee to left elbow, twisting your hips to the left, while your head and shoulders stay square to the floor. Kick right foot back to the start position without touching the floor. Do 10 repetitions on each side. Repeat for 3 sets.
Lie on your back with your legs straight and squeezed together. Extend your arms out into a “T” position on the floor. Lift the head off the floor looking towards your toes. Sweep your arms into your hips as you roll all the way up, lifting your upper body and lower body into a V position, balancing on your tailbone. Scoop the stomach in to peel back down to the start position. Complete this move 10 times.
Although these core strengthening moves may seem easy on the surface, they’re not! Complete this 6-pack of moves three times a week and you’ll have a rock hard core that will provide you with the balance and strength you need at the gym, the hiking trail, and even your office job. So, remember to be good to your core, and it’ll be good to you!
Fitness Contributor: Jacqueline Hinton
Jacqueline Hinton is a Los Angeles based Pilates instructor, the CEO of the Pilates lifestyle brand Good Citizen, and a professional dancer with a BFA in Dance from The University of Texas at Austin. Jackie has over a decade in the Pilates industry and has forever changed the world of Pilates by creating the original personal Pilates loop. As a fitness contributor to Inspirations & Celebrations, Jackie shares exercise and fitness tips to help you shape and sculpt your body.
If you enjoyed this article, share the love by Tweeting, Pinning, Stumbling, or sharing this on social media.
For more fab tips, pics and videos, follow Inspirations & Celebrations on Google+, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter. To win fab goodies, enter the Inspirations & Celebrations’ Monthly Giveaway.
[Images via Pixabay]