5 Ways to Strengthen Your Core

The "core" is made up of the lumbar vertebrae, pelvis, hip joints, and the structures that govern movement of this whole body area.

Why a Strong Core Is Important

Strengthening the core means targeting abdomen muscles that connect to the spine, pelvis and shoulders, which helps with good posture and forms the base of all arm and leg movements.

Having a strong core is vital for good posture, balance and stability.

Benefits of Strengthening Your Core

The four core muscles (transverse abdominis, multifidus, diaphragm, and pelvic floor muscles) need to be strong so they can help with trunk stability during exercise.

There are dozens of exercises that work on the transverse abdominis, multifidus, diaphragm, and pelvic floor muscles and will help you strengthen this core area. Here are five exercises to get you started.

Five Ways to Strengthen Your Core

Studies show that this popular exercise helps target the internal oblique muscles. This forearm plank is slightly easier than a standard plank, in which your arms extended straight up.

Forearm Plank

Like the forearm plank, the side plank is also useful for strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles.

Side Plank

This core-strengthening pose activates your entire trunk and works to strengthen your butt, thighs, and abdominal muscles.

Bridge

There are many variations of this exercise, which engages your core and abdominal muscles. Once you've mastered the basic crunch, you can add legs for a bicycle crunch or try a reverse crunch.

Crunch

This intermediate exercise takes some balance and skill. It's a good way to strengthen the the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors, while improving core strength.

V-Sit