A strong core is essential to your fitness, because your core is the foundation of all strength! What do I mean by this? Your arms & legs stem from your core, so if you do not have a strong core, then the strength in your limbs is compromised. When people think “core” they often think “abs”, but core strength includes your back as well! In fact, a strong back is much more important than a six-pack when it comes to preventing injuries.
Here are my three favorite ab & back exercises to work your core are the gym. Give them a whirl!
Core Workouts for the Gym:
- Planks: This is the ultimate ab exercise, but don’t waste your time holding a plank for hours! Try putting a weight on your back while you plank, or experiment with plank variations from our 20-day plank challenge.
- V-Ups: This is a supercharged sit up! You can even make them harder by passing a medicine ball between your hands & feet at the top of each V-Up.
- Leg raises: These can be done either hanging from a pull up bar, or laying on your back. The movement is simple: With your legs fully extended, engage your core to bring them up to a 90-degree angle (so your body is making an “L” shape), then lower them back down. You can make it harder by holding a weight between your feet as you raise & lower your legs.
- Supermans: This exercise may look deceptively easy, but it’s a great back-strengthener! Make it harder by holding weights in your hands as well.
- Back extensions: This move looks like the opposite of a sit-up, and is done using the “Roman Chair” or “Hyper-Extension Bench”.
- Rowing: To the untrained eye this looks like an arm exercise, but rowing primarily works the back muscles. You can use the rowing machine (which trains back muscule endurance), or the cable row (which trains back muscle strength).