Strong core muscles are essential to complement all types of training and even everyday life. Having a strong core will help with better posture, better balance, it can support good running form, it increases stability, reduces the risk of injury, boosts your power…the list is endless!
So, if you’re looking to start building core into your fitness programme, you won’t need endless amounts of equipment. If you’ve got them, grab a pair of dumbbells, a kettlebell or resistance bands to add intensity to the workout, if not bodyweight will still give you an awesome workout. For comfort, you may want to invest in a gym mat which will add protection and is good base to work from.
Give this workout a try doing 30 seconds of exercise, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Aim for 3-4 rounds if possible, or more if you can!
Dumbbell Overhead Sit Up
Hold the dumbbells against your chest whilst laying on your back. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, and keep your feet planted on the floor. While holding the dumbbells or kettlebell, slowly contract your core and raise your upper body towards your knees until your forearms touch your knees.
Dumbbell Hollow Hold
Lie on your back and extend your arms overhead holding the dumbbell. With control, raise you’re your arms, head, shoulder blades and legs off the floor. Remember not to arch your back. Hold before carefully returning to the start position.
Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground and knees bent. Your feet should be on the floor with your hands behind your head. Without pulling on your head, pull your shoulder blades back and slowly raise your knees to about a 90 degree angle, lifting your feet from the floor. Go through a bicycle pedal motion, bringing one knee up towards the armpit, while straightening the other leg. Rotate your torso so you can touch your knee elbow to the opposite knee as it comes up. Keep alternating this movement.
Kettlebell Side Bend
Stand up straight while holding the kettlebell or dumbbells at your side. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Place the other hand on your waist. Keeping your back and head straight, bend only from your waist. Continue as far as possible and hold for a count of one before returning to the start position. Repeat the movement both sides.
Lie on your back with legs straight and together. Keeping your legs straight, begin to raise them from the floor all the way up to the ceiling or wherever feels comfortable. Slowly lower your legs back down to the floor. Your lower back should be glued to the floor at all times. If it starts to lift, decrease the range of motion.