5 Exercises That Will Immediately Strengthen Your Core
Many people believe that your core muscles are the most important muscles in your body. After all, it’s quite difficult to move without using your core. These muscles actually start at your hips and comprise your entire torso up to and including your neck.
Think about it. When you sit up our of bed, when you lay down, when you pick something off of the floor, when you are surfing, when you are running. You are using all of your core muscles doing all of these everyday activities without even noticing.
When exercising your core muscles, you will become stronger, things will be easier to do, you will feel confident and you will be in phenomenal shape. I mean, who doesn’t want a six pack?! Or even a flat stomach with some abs showing?
Why Strengthen Your Core?
When your core muscles are strong you have better balance. Your mobility and ability to move in any position without stress or strain is improved. Your posture is better, which actually leads to more confidence and improved health. You will feel comfortable wearing that one dress or that one bikini that has been in your closet for years but never worn.
And you significantly reduce your risk of injury and pain. According to the American Chiropractic Association, on any given day 31 million Americans are suffering from back pain. The following exercises will help you stay strong and pain free. You need to understand that your core muscles and back are very close to each other and function together. As you strengthen your core, you will also be strengthening your back muscles if done correctly. This will lead to you not having any more back pain.
The plank is a movement that really works your entire core, and body for a matter of fact. To do a plank. Lie on the floor in a push-up position. Press up until your arms are straightened and hold the position. Keep you back from sagging and your bottom from coming up. Your entire body has to be in a complete straight line like a table. That’s a plank. You can make it more difficult by dropping to your forearms on the ground, in which it will then be called forearm planks.
The side plank is another movement you can do. From the plank, turn your body to one side and bring one arm up as you would be reaching the ceiling. You are supported by one arm by either being on your forearm or your hand with arm extended. Your top leg is on top of the bottom leg. Again, your entire body has to be in a straight line like a table.
To make it a little bit more challenging, the arm reaching the ceiling will come down and reach between your supportive arm and your body, and then back up to reaching the ceiling.
To perform the hollow rock and switching into the superman in one motion: Lie on your back on the floor. Tighten your abs. Raise your legs and shoulders/arms off of the floor. Keep your core muscles tight and hold the position for ten to twenty seconds. Now roll over, without touching the floor with your hands if possible. Your arms and legs are still off the floor and you’re positioned as if you are superman flying through the air. Chest and thighs are not touching the floor. Hold the position, roll to your back and repeat.
To make it a little bit easier, you can just perform the superman by itself. Lie on your stomach on the floor or yoga mat. Raise your arms and feet off of the group while keeping them extended. Keep your core tight and your back flexed. Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds and reset. Repeat the process.
Crunches, all of our favorite school gym exercise when we were younger. Or even the good old fashioned sit-up that we all hated doing as a child. Consider putting a small bolster or pillow under your lower back to offer support. On the floor, place your arms behind you and over your head. As you sit up, swing your arms with you and use the momentum to help you up. The movement isn’t complete until you touch your toes with your fingers. You can modify the movement by letting your knees fall to the outside in a butterfly position.
If you have a gym membership and have access to a glute hamstring developer machine at your gym, aka GHD, then you can use this machine to perform sit-ups and hip and back extensions. Before you try these movements, it’s important to get instruction on proper form. You can ask somebody at the facility to help you understand the correct posture or most of the time there are drawings on the machine, teaching you how to use it properly. You can hurt yourself if you perform the movement incorrectly and you might not strengthen the muscles you are wanting to workout. If you are doing the exercise incorrectly, you are also getting a wrong habit that will be hard to break after a while.
Add core strengthening movements to your workout routine at least twice a week. A stronger core will make your other exercises easier. You’ll burn more fat and have a healthier and stronger core. Your confidence level will boost up and you will love to workout core. We recommended adding it at least twice a week into your surf training workout routines but if you want to always workout your bas, you would add at least one core exercise in each workout that you perform.
If you want to learn more about surf training workouts to get you better at paddling, getting a stronger core, surf better, and longer. Check out our Surf Ranks program. It is 100% online and you will benefit from it the second you start performing it.