Keep your body moving in the comfort of your home with floor-based workouts that strengthen your core.
When we talk about core exercises, many people think sit-ups and crunches, but strengthening your core takes more than just those moves. To get a full core workout, you must work upper and lower abdominal muscles as well as side, back, hip flexor, and glute muscles. “Core strength is the foundation to back/spine health,” says Kelly Rice, head trainer at Orange Theory Fitness in Downers Grove, Illinois. “It complements everything you do!” The core provides a framework that protects internal organs, aids movement, and lends balance and stability to the whole body. Your core gets action during workouts focused on other parts of the body, but to really strengthen your core, partake in a floor-based exercise routine that targets abdominal muscles aggressively. Exercise the core 2 to 3 times a week for 10 to 20 minutes each time to create strength throughout the torso.
Creating a workout space in your home is as simple as lying down on an exercise mat, grabbing a water bottle, and getting out a clean towel.
Plank: 1 min.
Boat Pose: 12 reps
Superman: 12 reps
Double Crunch: 12 reps
Side Plank: 12 per side
Targets upper/lower abs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms and toes. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for 1 minute or as long as you can. Hold for 2 minutes for an extra challenge!
Targets upper and lower abs. Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and hold your arms out in front of you as you raise your feet off the ground with your legs together. If you can, extend your legs so they are straight and your body forms a V shape. You can also raise your arms and spread your legs to make the hold harder. Advanced: Lower your back and heels 2 inches off the floor (low boat) and engage lower abs back to high boat.
Targets glutes and back.
Lie facedown on floor with arms in front of body, palms toward the floor. Draw navel in, tighten glutes, and pinch shoulder blades together. Simultaneously lift arms, chest, and legs off the floor. Hold pose. Slowly return to the ground, keeping chin tucked in.
Targets upper and lower abs. Lie flat on your back with knees slightly bent and palms at your ears. Pull elbows and knees together to touch. Hold for 2 seconds and then extend back to floor.
Targets obliques. Lie on side. Raise upper
body off floor, aligning lower elbow beneath shoulder and placing upper hand on hip. Align ankles, hips, shoulders, and head. Lift hips off floor, lower 4 to 6 inches toward floor, and lift back up.
Repeat this 5-part regimen 3 times for a full workout.
Don’t be discouraged if your balance feels off at first. The more you exercise, the more stable you become!