Forget Crunches: How to Actually Strengthen Your Core

The Benefits of Core Exercises For Beginners

Core exercises are very beneficial for all ages. They strengthen your core muscles which helps you maintain balance during activities like walking or even running.

You will feel better if you have strong core muscles because they make it easier to stay upright while sitting down, standing up from a chair, bending over and many other things.

You can also benefit from these exercises if you suffer from back pain or any other kind of chronic pain condition. If you have had surgery on your spine, then core exercises might not be effective for you.

If you want to lose weight, core exercises are one of the best ways to achieve that goal. A stronger core makes it easier for you to hold onto food and drink when eating them.

It also allows you to walk longer distances without getting tired or having to stop frequently.

Curl Up And Get Stressed Out!

What Is Core Exercise?

A core muscle is a group of muscles located at the base of your neck, between your ribs and hips. These muscles include the obliques (inner thighs), rectus abdominis (outer thighs) and transversus abdominis (lower belly). The term “core” refers to all of these muscles combined.

The muscles of your core work together to help your spine stay upright and stable. This includes helping you bend forward, twist, sit up or even cough.

Forget Crunches: How to Actually Strengthen Your Core - Picture

These muscles are important for more than just basic tasks like these though. They also play a major role in helping to protect your spine from injury.

If you have ever suffered an injury to your back or spine then strengthening your core muscles can help to protect the spine from re-injury. Certain types of exercises can even be used to rehabilitate a spine that has already been injured.

The following are some of the most popular types of core exercises for beginners:

Reverse crunch

Leg raise

Bicycle maneuver

Mountain climber

The next sections discuss these exercises in greater detail. Remember that you should always begin your core exercises slowly and gently.

Even if you feel like you are strong enough to complete the entire routine, never try to rush through the exercise. Always follow the recommended guidelines for each exercise and proceed gradually.

Forget Crunches: How to Actually Strengthen Your Core - | Gym Fit Workout

Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch is one of the most popular types of core exercises for beginners. You can do this exercise either with or without an exercise ball.

You will need at least a six-inch high exercise ball though.

To do this exercise lay down on your back and place your heels on the exercise ball. Cross your hands over your chest or place them behind your head.

Next, contract the muscles of your lower abdomen as you gently pull your knees up toward the middle of your chest. Continue pulling until your upper thighs are at a right angle to your torso. Hold this position for a moment before slowly lowering your legs back down.

If you do not have an exercise ball, then you can use a chair instead. Place one foot on the seat of the chair and then bend the knee of the other leg.

You can also do this exercise standing up instead of lying down. In this case, it is best to place your hands on your hips.

Leg Raise

The leg raise is another common core exercise for beginners. This exercise can be done either lying down or standing up.

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To do this exercise, lie on your back on the floor or sit on the edge of a chair with your legs straight in front of you. Place your hands either at your side or on your chest.

Next, slowly lift your legs up off of the floor until they are vertical. Make sure that you keep your legs straight as you do this and do not bend your knees. Hold this position for a moment before lowering your legs back down.

If you want more of a challenge you can do this exercise standing up. In this case, you should place your hands on your hips.

Bicycle Maneuver

The bicycle maneuver is a great way to work the muscles that are used when rolling over in bed. This exercise can be done either lying down or sitting in a chair.

To do this exercise, you will need to lie down on the floor or sit in a chair that does not roll. Then cross your left leg over your body using your right hand to grab your left ankle.

Gently pull your leg toward your chest until you feel a stretch in the front of your right hip. After thirty seconds, switch legs and repeat the process with your right leg and left hand.

These are just a few of the most common and popular core exercises for beginners. Remember that you’re more likely to stick with an exercise plan if you enjoy it.

These exercises are just suggestions and if you find other ways of doing the same movements, then by all means go for it.

Forget Crunches: How to Actually Strengthen Your Core - GYM FIT WORKOUT

If you’re a beginner, then you need to begin with a fairly basic exercise routine. Start with the basics and add more exercises as you go.

Choose an exercise or two from the list above and do them two to three times per week. Always give yourself at least a day off in between exercise sessions.

You should start seeing results after 2-3 weeks.

Sources & references used in this article:

Foundation (Enhanced Edition): Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence by E Goodman, P Park – 2011 –

Partnership parenting: How men and women parent differently-Why it helps your kids and can strengthen your marriage by K Pruett – 2010 –

Crunch Point by B Tracy – 2007 –

Separated Abs Workout by J Stoppani –

Abdominal crunches are/are not a safe and effective exercise by BJ Schoenfeld, MJ Kolber – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2016 –

How to train your “Core” by B Lang, C DN – Physical Therapy, 2016 –

The 10 Most Hotly Debated Fitness Topics by T Pollen –