Did you know every time you carry groceries, laundry, or even your kids that you’re relying on your core as a foundation of strength? Your core is located in your posterior chain. By strengthening it, you will help keep your chest up and your spine strong, which can correlate to some back pain relief and overall better quality of life. Whether you’re getting back into fitness after a lapse or a newbie, developing a solid core will increase your stability and balance. But, where do you start if you hate crunches? Check out this 4 beginner ab-focused, core-heavy movements below, and you’ll be off to a solid start in your workout journey!
Standing Bicycle Crunches
Targets: Obliques and rotational muscles
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands behind your head. With a tight core, straight back, and relaxed shoulders, lift your right leg and simultaneously raise your right knee and lower your left elbow towards each other. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Seated Leg Lifts
Targets: Abs and hamstrings
Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Keeping your core engaged, lean back slightly, so you’re able to place your hands on either side of your glutes. Take a deep breath and lift one leg six inches off the ground. Hold for five seconds and put it down. Repeat with the other leg.
Spider Plank Crunch
Targets: Lower abs and glutes
Start in a push-up position, hands on the ground directly underneath your shoulders, and legs extended backward with your toes on the ground, so your body is in a straight line. Lift your right leg and bring your knee towards the outside of your right elbow. Return to plank position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.
Targets: Abs, hamstrings, glutes, and shoulders
Start on the floor on all fours, hands placed directly underneath your shoulders, and hips in line with your knees. Lift your right hand and extend your arm straight out in on you, keeping it shoulder height, while simultaneously lifting your left leg and extending it straight back. Your whole body should be in a straight line from right fingertips to left toes. Return to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
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