A strong core will help you look better and improve your performance in fitness, sports and life. A good abdominal or core program is a lot more than crunches. A great deal of your core work should be isometric exercises like plank variations, quadruped position movements, rotational and anti-rotational exercises.
These dynamic variations will strengthen and target your core from all angles and will also improve your core stability to help you look better and maximize your overall results. The exercises require minimal to no equipment so you can add these often into your regimen.
Single Arm Bear Position Hold
- Start in a quadruped position with your arms directly underneath your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Brace your core and raise your knees off the ground.
- Keep your back flat with a neutral neck.
- Your knees should be about 2-4 inches off the floor
- Raise and extend one arm to the side, keep your hips square, and core engaged. Think belly button to spine.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds. Then repeat on the other side.
Plank Hold with Dumbbell Push + Pull
- Start in a standard Plank Position with your legs a bit wider.
- Tuck your pelvis and squeeze your Glutes.
- Push a dumbbell and pull back to starting position for the recommended repetitions.
- Keep a neutral spine and your core and Glutes engaged the entire time.
- Do your best to avoid rocking your hips side to side.
- Rest as needed and repeat on the other side.
Kneeling Lo-Hi Chops
- Get in a kneeling position, so your knees are in line with your hips.
- Make sure your body is level and is not leaning backward.
- Hold a dumbbell by the horns.
- Take a deep breath. Brace your core and squeeze your glutes.
- Perform a diagonal chopping movement with the weight.
- Keep your arms relatively relaxed so they do not dominate the exercise.
- Keep your shoulder blades drawn together and down. Do not allow your shoulders to round or shrug.
- Reset before each rep.
- Once you have finished chopping in one direction, repeat in the opposite direction.
Double Arm Press Dead Bug
- Lie on your back as you hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Press the weights and extend your arms
- Bend your hips and knees to a 90-degree angle.
- Tighten your abs and press your lower back onto the floor.
- Take a deep inhale.
- As you exhale, slowly extend your left leg toward the floor.
- Keep your abs tight and do not arch your lower back.
- Slowly return your leg back to the starting position and continue alternating sides.
- Keep your arms extended throughout each repetition.