As we age, our physical activity tends to slow down, and we become a bit sedentary. This can be a result of different health problems, pain or weight issues or just a lack of physical exercise. But, with years, an active lifestyle is even more important than anything else. So, you should do some core strengthening exercises to stay fit and healthy.
When it comes to exercising, it does not mean that you should spend many hours on sweaty workouts, build muscle tone or lose weight. These core strengthening exercises are much simpler and will ensure your overall health.
Exercises to Stay Fit and Healthy
Before we go on with the exercises, let’s first explain what exactly the core is?
The core muscles include the muscles in your torso, especially the gluteal muscles, the abdominal muscles, the spinal and the internal abdominal muscles. All of these muscles stabilize your spine and enable your everyday movements.
Most of the people underuse these muscles especially if they have a job that does not require much activity. In this way, the muscles slowly begin to lose strength and to atrophy.
For this reason, sitting, walking, standing, bending and twisting become painful because the body activates the smaller muscles to do these movements.
With time, this can cause limited mobility, chronic low back pain, and knee pain. However, if you try to strengthen your core muscles, you will prevent all of these problems.
6 Core Strengthening Exercises to Stay Fit
These exercises won’t take you more than 10-15 minutes in the morning or in the evening. They can be performed individually or all together, depending on the free time you have. Also, make sure you repeat them two or three times a week.
- Level: For Beginners
- Equipment: No equipment needed
- Exercise Time: 10-15 minutes
- Set Up: Do ten repetitions on each side.
1. Glute Bridge Hold
Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your hands apart with your palms facing up. Slowly squeeze your gluteal muscles and raise your hips off the ground. Beginners should stay in this position for 20-30 seconds while experienced exercisers hold it for one minute or even longer.
For an advanced variation, raise one foot in the air and put all the work of the exercise on the other leg.
Activated Muscles: Hamstrings, gluteals and erector spinae.
2. Pointer Dogs
Start the exercise on your knees and hands. Then raise both the right hand and the left leg off the ground. Extend your hand forward and extend your leg backward. Make sure you keep your neck, head and back in a neutral position, without arching and hyperextending.
Remain in this position for 5 seconds and then switch sides.
Activated Muscles: Trapezius, Latissimus dorsi, transverse abdominals, internal and external obliques and gluteals.
3. Half-Kneeling Warrior Twists
Start in a half-kneeling position, with one foot on the ground in front of you and one knee on the ground. Raise the arms out to each side to shoulder height. Then twist your torso and spine to one side. Hold briefly, return to the starting position and then switch sides.
Activated Muscles: Deltoids, latissimus dorsi, internal and external abdominals, internal and external obliques and gluteals.
4. Overhead to High Knees
Stand up and place your feet apart at a comfortable distance. Raise your hands over your head and as you bring them down raise one knee to the waist height. Then return to the starting position and switch sides.
Activated Muscles: Foot and calf muscles, shoulder complex, gluteals and internal and external abdominals.
5. Crane Kicks
Start in a standing position with your feet together and arms at your sides. Raise your right knee as close to the chest as possible. While standing in this balanced position, lightly kick your right foot.
Perform all the repetitions on the right side, return to the starting position and then repeat on the other side.
Activated Muscles: Foot and Calf Muscles, Internal and external abdominals, gluteals and hamstrings.
6. Star Balance
Start in a standing position with your feet apart at a comfortable distance. Raise your hands over your head, lift your left foot out to the side and lean your right arm and torso to the right. The left arm should remain in the starting position.
Lean as far as you can but make sure you do not fall. Hold briefly, return to the starting position and switch sides.
Activated Muscles: Internal and external obliques, internal and external abdominals, calf and foot muscles, abductors and adductors and gluteals.
Practice these core strengthening exercises to stay fit and healthy, regardless of your age. They will improve your everyday movements, reduce the pain and risk of some chronic diseases.
The following video will provide a visual and verbal instruction for the core strengthening exercises.
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