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What Is the Most Effective Core Exercise?

The core is a collection of muscles that stabilize, rotate and move the spine. A healthy core translates into a stronger lower back and better balance. The most effective core exercises are dead bug, side plank, front plant, vertical leg crunches, flutter kicks, Russian twists and the hollow body hold and hang.

The core is a collection of muscles that stabilize, rotate and move the spine. A healthy core translates into a stronger lower back and better balance. Below are a few effective core exercises.

Dead bug: According to research, this exercise is the most effective and great for activating the core.

  • It will help you develop control when contracting your core muscles.
  • Your abs will contract and lengthen, but will remain under constant tension. It does require a little bit of coordination, but is simple to perform with a little bit of practice.
  • Try three sets of six to 10 reps or whatever it takes to activate your core.
  • Push your stomach into the floor to close the gap under your back.
  • Extend one arm and leg straight out from the body.
  • Bring your arm and leg back to the middle and repeat on the other side.

Front planks

  • Rest your body on your elbows and toes. Don’t let your hips sag or be too high. The goal should be to not give up for at least 60 seconds.

Side planks

  • They are great for core exercise routines.
  • Lie on your right side with your legs straight.
  • Prop yourself up with your right forearm so your body forms a diagonal line.
  • Rest your left hand on your hip.
  • Brace your abs and hold for 60 seconds, at least. Repeat on the other side.
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Vertical leg crunches

  • Take a mat and lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.
  • Extend your legs straight up and place your hand behind your head.
  • Now, try to move up toward your toes, crunching the stomach.
  • Exhale as you contract upward and inhale as you return to the starting position.

Flutter kicks

  • Lie on the mat face up with legs extended, toes pointed and hands tucked underneath glutes to support your lower back.
  • Lift both legs off the floor by a few inches and alternately kick your legs up and down or in a crisscross motion.

Russian twists

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold your arms straight out in front of the chest with palms facing down. Lean back so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle with the floor.
  • Twist to the right as far as you can, pause, then reverse movement, and then twist to the left.

Hollow body hold and hang

  • The hollow body hold is a back-friendly way to strengthen the core front.
  • Start by lying flat on your back and then gently lift your legs off the floor while elevating your upper back and shoulders, hollowing your body out.
  • Hold for about 20 to 30 seconds.
  • The hollow body hang is similar to the hollow body hold except you are hanging from a bar with gravity working against your legs and your core is in a slightly different position.
  • The act of hanging from a bar with the shoulders overhead, while also great for your shoulder stability and mobility, adds an extra degree of difficulty for the core as you work extra hard to prevent extension through the lower and middle back.
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What are the benefits of core exercises?

Core workouts involve your torso training. Exercises for the core (body frame) muscles help strengthen the other ones, which provide spine fixation. This helps maintain beautiful posture and a healthy backbone. Below are few common benefits.

Equilibrium and stability improvement

  • Core workouts train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony.
  • This leads to better equilibrium and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. Most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.

All-round practice

  • Any exercise that involves the use of your abdominal and back muscles in a coordinated fashion counts as a core workout.
  • For example, using free weights in a manner that involves maintaining a stable trunk can train and strengthen a lot of muscles, including your core muscles.

Better abs

  • Core workouts are necessary if you’re planning to go all-out to build a strong, ripped midsection.
  • Although it takes aerobic activity to burn abdominal fat, core exercises can strengthen and tone the underlying muscles.

Simplified physical activity

  • Strong core muscles make it easier to perform an array of activities, such as swing a golf club, get a glass from the top shelf and bend down to tie your shoes.
  • Strong core muscles are also important for athletes, such as runners, because weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and injuries.


Pictures of the 7 Most Effective Exercises to Do at the Gym or Home (and Tips to Improve Form)
See Slideshow

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Medically Reviewed on 3/25/2021


Medscape Medical Reference

Fitness Australia

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