Three Exercises That Work Your Core and Come With an Added Bonus
Doing crunches and planks will work your core – not exactly an earth shattering statement. What many people don’t realize is that there are other exercises that work your core muscles and may even be more effective at working your abs. With a strong stable core, your everyday movements are made a lot easier.
Kim Lavender, national director of Team Training for GoodLife Fitness has been helping people achieve their fitness goals for over 25 years. “Having a strong core is more than just flattening your tummy or getting a six-pack. It protects your organs, diminishes back pain and enhances your posture,” says Lavender. “A strong core helps you with everyday movements; whether it’s bending down to put on your shoes or picking up groceries.”
Here she explains three of her favourite exercises for working multiple muscle groups including the core:
Single Leg Deadlifts
The deadlift is when you lift a weighted barbell off the ground to your hips, using hamstrings, gluteus, abs and back, and then lower back to the ground. Deadlifts are great for your core, but when you integrate balance, by being on one leg, your body works harder to keep balance and alignment with your spine. The Bonus: This helps strengthen your abs, butt, hamstrings, and lower back.
Rowing is a full body workout that engages your thighs abdominals and shoulders. The bonus: Many people assume the focus is upper body but the breakdown is 60 per cent thighs and butt, 20 per cent core, and 20 per cent upper body.
Assume a pushup position with your arms straight and your body in a straight line from your head to your ankles. Bring your right knee to your chest and place your foot back on the ground behind you. Quickly switch to the other leg and repeat. The bonus: Mountain climbers work deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectorals, obliques, abdominals and hamstrings. They also challenge your balance, agility and coordination all while engaging your core.