The core is generally referred to as a group of muscles that extends from your neck down, up to your pelvis. As core muscles stabilize and control the pelvis and spine, core strength is something that is very important for better athletic performance.
While most people associate core strength with power, it mainly helps you to maintain an ideal posture and also promotes ease of movement. From these two facts, it is easily understood that core strength is very crucial for an athlete. So, special workouts and efforts should be put in to improve core strength, thereby enhancing performance.
Different Types Of Core Strengthening Exercises
Here are the full details of core strengthening exercises that will definitely help you to improve your athletic performance.
One of the biggest advantages of the plank is that, while it helps massively build your core strength, it also engages a wide group of muscles and works the entire body. It works on your arms, legs, and abs at the same time and gives you an overall effect too.
So, while doing planks, make sure you hold the right plank position and keep your forearms and toes on the floor. Keep your head relaxed and look at the floor. Your elbows should be right under the shoulder and hold the position for at least 10 – 15 seconds. You can increase the timing gradually.
Just like plank, flutter kicks also target different areas of your body along with your core. It mainly targets your abdominal muscles and helps you to improve your flexibility. It also helps to tone down and slim your waist.
In order to do flutter kicks, lie on your back and keep both of your hands close to the slides of your body or under your glutes. Then start with one foot, stack it on top of the other, and repeat it with both legs. Make sure to keep this up for a few sets.
Along with improving core strength, it also acts on the strength of your shoulder too. It also burns fat and gives you a strong and well-defined waistline. This workout also helps to strengthen your spine muscles, thereby improving your flexibility and balance.
For Russian twists, sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flexed, with the heel of your feet touching the floor. Place your hand in front of your chest and then slowly lean back until you feel an engagement in your abdominal muscles. Slowly start to move your torso from right to left. Do not forget to breathe and keep your core tight during the workout.
Hanging Leg Raise
While it is one of the best exercises to improve your core strength, it is also very helpful in targeting your lower abs and also increases your forearm and grip strength. While most other workouts do not need any additional instrument support, you will need a bar for grip and to hag from for this workout.
Start by gripping the bar by placing both your hands in line with your shoulders. Remember to keep your legs straight and together. Then slowly tighten your core and bring up your legs without bending the knees. Raise your legs until both your thighs and feet are above the hip level. Then slowly bring your leg back to the starting position.
Experts suggest that this exercise works your entire torso, from head to toe. The exercise is said to involve all core stabilizers and also helps to build your overall strength in a much better way than through any isolated core exercises.
Begin doing the exercise by keeping your hands locked in an overhead position. To make it easier, you can grab any stable objects placed overhead, like a bench. After getting in the right position, slowly lift your legs and torso till they come in a straight line. Pause briefly at the top and then slowly get back into the original position. Do this for the needed number of times.
As mentioned, core strength is an important matter when it comes to athletic performance. So, in order to keep up your performance, you should ensure the strength of your core. While there are many different exercises that build core strength, these are some of the most common, easier, and effective ones that you can take up without much hard work.
Another benefit of these exercises is that they also help in the overall development of your body by affecting different sets of muscles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How long does it normally take for the core to strengthen?
Developing core strength is a matter of consistency. According to experts, you will be able to develop your core strength within 4 – 8 weeks if you train at least 2 – 3 times a week.
Q. Apart from workouts, what are a few other ways to maintain core strength?
Practicing pilates or yoga are some of the most effective and easy methods to maintain your core strength.
Q. What are the effects of having a weak core?
A weak core can lead to different issues like poor posture, increased lower back pain, and most important, poor athletic performance.