What are Core Muscles?
A core is a group of muscles that is included in almost every body-movement. It is usually considered that core means the front body muscles. However, along with the front body muscles, core muscles also include the pelvic floor and the back. Core exercises are famous amongst health enthusiasts as these exercises can work on the core.
The main function of the core is to act as a body stabilizer and transfer the force. For example, when you push a door or swing a bat, you are using core muscles to transfer the force from your body to the object. The core muscles also help you in making the body posture.
What are Core Exercises?
Core exercises, as the name suggests, are exercises that focus on building and strengthening your core muscles. Your muscles around the pelvis, abdominal muscles, and back muscles get strengthened when you do core exercises.
Most of the core exercises are very simple but the simplicity does not mean that you do not have to put in efforts. A core workout can leave you exhausted in minutes. But you can also see the results of doing core exercises within weeks.
There is no dearth of options of exercises in a core workout. You can start with core strengthening exercises for beginners and then jump to master-level core strengthening exercises as you get comfortable in performing them.
How Effectively Can We Do Core Exercises at Home?
Most core strengthening exercises do not require extra props or special pieces of equipment. Hence, you can perform them very effectively at home. Learn how to do core exercises for beginners and start doing them at your home. You will see the results soon.
Who Can Do Core Exercises?
Anyone in good health can do core exercises. Even if you have not tried exercises before, you still can try a beginner core workout.
Who Should Avoid Core Exercises?
People with specific health problems should try to avoid doing core exercises. Below are some of the health problems and medical conditions in which you should try to not do core strengthening exercises:
Those who have joint osteoporosis and back problems should keep away from core stability exercises.
Pregnant women or those who have recently given birth should also not perform core exercises for women.
Those people who recently have been through any kind of serious injury, muscle strain, or sprain should also avoid core stability exercises.
Once the medical condition changes and the health improves, these people can start with a beginner core workout. However, even after the health is improved, the core workout should be practised only under the supervision of an expert. Only the experts can tell how to do core exercises for beginners with clear instructions.
What Are Some Best Core Exercises?
When it comes to building core muscles, there are plenty of exercises you can do. In fact, there are even specific core workouts for women and for men. Below, we have listed down the best core exercises:
Tuck and crunch
How to Perform the Best Core Exercises?
Thanks to the internet, performing core workouts at home has become easier more than it was ever before. For building core strength, you can read a guide or you can take online exercises. Not just core strengthening, you also know how to increase stamina for running
or how to get a toned body. Sticking to the matter at hand, here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform some of the best core exercises at home:
Starting the workout with the most famous one, dumbbell crunch is an exercise that focuses mostly on your abs. If done in a proper form, dumbbell crunch can start showing results within the first few weeks.
Spread out a mat and lie on your back.
Hold a dumbbell across your chest (you can also take a weight plate) in both your hands.
Raise your torso gradually and then lower it down.
While you raise your torso, make sure that you are maintaining tension in your upper abs.
Duration: For the most effective results, start with 10 reps with a rest of 10 seconds after each rep.
Tuck and crunch
A callisthenics exercise that focuses on your core, tuck and crunch does not require any special equipment. Just spread out a mat and start performing it even if you are a total beginner.
Spread out a mat or a towel and lie down on it.
Your hands should be placed by your head while your legs should be raised in the air, making a 90° angle with your bent knees.
Start raising your torso and draw the knees towards the chest gradually.
Meanwhile, your fingers should be kept by your temples.
While doing reps, make sure that you are not jerking your torso up and not letting your feet touch the floor.
Duration: For the most effective results, start with 15 reps with a rest of 10 seconds after each rep.
Modified V-sit is yet another exercise that shows how simple and easy it is to perform core workouts at home. It helps in building and strengthening your core. The full version of this exercise can be a bit challenging; hence, we have mentioned only the modified version of it.
Spread out a mat or a towel and lie down on it.
Raise off your legs and make them parallel with the floor.
Keep both of your arms straight while you will raise your torso.
Bring both of your legs in while bending them at the knees. This will make your chest meet your knees.
Now, lower down the legs while making them straight at the knees.
Duration: For the most effective results, start with 12 reps with a rest of 10 seconds after each rep.
You will rarely find a person who is a health enthusiast but does not know about the crunches. This exercise works exclusively on your abdominal muscles. People who want to get six-pack abs or eight-pack abs often choose this as one of their primary exercises in daily workout sessions. Since abdominal muscles are a part of the core, this exercise is also a go-to exercise for strengthening your core.
Spread out a mat or a towel and lie down on your back.
Bend your knees with your feet planted and both of your arms crossed over your chest.
Now, raise your torso while engaging your abs.
Slowly, lower down the torso. Make sure that your abs are tightened in this step.
Your abs will feel fatigued with just a few reps but try to do the step of raising and lowering down the torso with your abs.
When your torso is at the uppermost point, try to hold that position for at least one second. You can increase this time when you get comfortable with this exercise.
Duration: For the most effective results, start with 20 reps with a rest of 90 seconds after each rep.
Benefits of Doing Core Exercises
Core exercises bring a ton of benefits with them. It is a popular notion that a core workout can only help in developing abs but that is not true. The best core workouts can have a number of benefits that any other workout can not. Here are the most important benefits of doing core exercises:
Lower Back Pain: A majority of people suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life. It is an excruciating problem that can severely affect the quality of your life. Performing core exercises regularly can help you in relieving this pain. When coupled with physical therapy, a core workout can do wonders for you. It is not necessary that you try core exercises only when the pain strikes. The best core exercises can even help you in the prevention of any future possibility of lower back pain.
Agility for Everyday Tasks: Whether you are scooping up a package or sitting on a chair to have your dinner, you are engaging your core muscles in one form or the other. Even if you do not have any health problems, performing core workouts at home will give you the agility to perform these tasks with more efficiency.
Balance and Stability: The best core exercises help in stabilizing your body. With better balance and stability, you can move in any direction without losing a sense of control. In fact, there are different core exercises for men and women. These exercises are modified according to the specific needs and bodies of men and women.
Good Posture: Core exercises can also help you in maintaining a good posture. The exercises actually build core strength and help in decreasing the wear and tear on the spine caused by slouching and bad posture.
Better Physique and Looks: People who want to get a lean body
and toned muscles
should add these exercises to their daily routine. When coupled with other exercises like dancing for weight loss
and butt exercises
, these exercises can give you a perfect look. You can ask your trainer to teach you workouts according to your gender as there are different core workouts for women and men.
Disadvantages of Doing Core Exercises
You can get a number of benefits by performing core exercises at home. But, at the same, if you do not do them properly, you might get exposed to certain disadvantages. These disadvantages are:
Strained Muscles: Any group of muscles, including the muscles present in your abdominals and core, are vulnerable to the strain if they are subjected to overwork. If you perform core muscle exercises without taking proper rest, it might cause muscular strain.
Back Pain: This might sound counterintuitive at first as the core exercises are supposed to treat back pain. Do not worry as core exercises actually treat back pain. But if you do not do them the right way, core workouts for men and women like crunch or sit-up can put a load on the discs of your spine which might result in back pain.
Potentially Unsafe for Older Adults: With age, your muscles lose their stretchability and become stiff due to wear and tear. In such a situation, performing core exercises are potentially unsafe to perform. Do consult a medical expert before practising the exercises if you think that age can be a problem for you.
Dos & Don’ts
You can walk out of the bed in the morning, pick an exercise from the top 10 core exercises and start doing it without thinking about anything. But if you want the most out of the core workouts, you have to follow certain dos and don’ts. Here is a list of them:
Perform warm up exercises before starting core exercises.
If you are a beginner, limit your workout session to around 15 minutes.
Only wear comfortable clothes to avoid discomfort. Your body also has to release sweat which is easier to do when you are wearing airy clothes.
Double-check your internet connection and phone or laptop’s battery if you are learning core exercises from online classes.
Consult your coach and take a complimentary diet along with core exercises.
Talk to your coach about your specific needs. If you want to do gender-specific exercises, you can do core workouts for men or women.
Do not perform exercises for core strength with a full stomach.
Do not do the same exercises over and over again. It might put stress on a single or a group of muscles.
In the starting days, do not perform core muscle exercises continuously for more than 15 to 20 minutes. Regular breaks are very essential for healing and then strengthening the muscles.
Things Required to Do Core Exercises if You Are at Home & Gym?
Thankfully, you don’t require any expensive or heavy pieces of equipment for performing core exercises. Here is a small list of things that you will require to do exercises if you are at home or at a gym:
A water bottle