5 Moves You Can Try At Home to Improve Your Core
Whether you’re supremely busy, or just looking for an extra boost to get your core looking and feeling great, we’ve got your back! Here are 5 awesome moves to get that core burning right now! It’s important to remember in all core exercises to keep your transverse abdominal muscles engaged by rotating your hips under and pushing your belly button into your spine.
1. PLANK (PICTURED)
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but one of the best things you can do to strengthen your core (front, sides, and back) is to plank! To find that optimal plank, lay on your stomach, legs straight with your hands on the ground flat underneath your shoulders. Push yourself up until your arms are extended and you’re on your toes. Make sure your arms are directly under your shoulders, and your hips are tucked under (push your belly button into your spine). You’ll want to make sure you are pushing through your heals to really elongate your whole body, and that you are keeping your chin away from your chest (look about 6-8 inches in front of your fingertips). If doing a straight arm plank is too much pressure on your wrists, you can come down to your elbows, with your arms palm down in front of you at a 90 degree angle, and you can even lower your knees to the ground. Make sure your core remains tight, and that your spine is in a straight line. When you’re planking right you will feel it throughout your core, glutes, hamstrings, and quads! Complete a 4 minute Plank tabata, holding for 20 seconds, and resting for 10 seconds repeating this cycle for 4 minutes!
2. SIDE PLANK:
Same idea as a front plank, the side plank is great for targeting those oblique (side core) muscles! To perform a side plank, start laying on either your right or left side, with your top foot on the ground in front of your back foot, and push up with the arm on the ground. Keep in mind proper front plank form in your side plank – keep your hips tucked under, and your arm in line with your shoulder. With side plank, imagine that you have a rope tied around your waist and it is being pulled from the ceiling, this will help you keep your hips up and your oblique’s engaged! Complete a 4 minute Plank tabata, holding for 20 seconds, and resting for 10 seconds repeating this cycle for 4 minutes, then switch sides!
3. CROSS BODY MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS: (PICTURED)
Cross Body Mountain Climbers are another great exercise to really strengthen your core. Starting on your stomach, push up into plank position. Once in plank pull your right knee into your left elbow, really focusing on pulling in with your core, then repeat on the other leg. As you get more comfortable pick up the speed. This move is great as a cardio interval and core strengthener.
4. ANKLE SLAPPERS:
Another great oblique exercise, ankle slappers are also great for engaging those transverse abdominal muscles. Laying on your back, place your feet on the floor as close together as possible with your knees bent to the ceiling, lift your shoulders off the ground by pushing your lower back into the floor and engaging your transverse abdominal muscles. With your arms down at your sides reach to your ankles really engaging your oblique’s. Alternate side to side, and repeat as a 4 minute tabata (20 seconds on 10 seconds off), or 3 rounds of 15.
5. WOOD CHOPPERS: (ALTERNATIVE POSITION PICTURED)
Laying on your back with your knees bent as you were for ankle slapper, put your arms overhead and clasp your hands. As you come up into a crunch pull your arms down between your legs like you’re chopping wood, then lay back, next time you come up bring your arms down to the outside of your legs, and repeat to the other side! Complete a 4 minute wood chopper tabata, or alternate with your ankle slappers, 3 rounds of 15!
Make sure to journal your progress so you measure your strength as it grows!
ABOUT NIKKI & KAIA FIT
Nikki Warren, alongside her business partners Sharon Kassity and Kristen Loos, developed Kaia FIT on the premise of functional fitness. Kaia FIT is an all-encompassing lifestyle system composed of year-round fitness and nutrition programs designed for women, by women.
The all-encompassing lifestyle program stems from Nikki’s 20+ years’ experience in the fitness and nutrition field. She has held certifications in Core Power Yoga, USA Triathlon, USA Track and Field, Cross Fit, American Council on Exercise (ACE) and National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA). Nikki is an advanced Kaia FIT coach, training hundreds of fitness professionals annually to bring her functional program to women across the country. Designed by women, for women, Kaia FIT gyms offer themed muscle confusion workouts, nutritional guidance, a dedicated community of like-minded women, and constant support from Kaia FIT coaches.