Fit & Fresh

Best Moves to Target Your Core!

Portrait of an attractive young female doing push up exercise

“What is the best exercise to work my core?” As a Fitness Trainer, this was one of the top 10 questions I was most often asked. I am a firm believer in including a variety of exercises in a core workout routine. Variety is important to ensure best results are achieved and to keep your workouts fun and interesting!

We can often get stuck doing the same exercises repeatedly, or just stick to the old school sit up. To add variety to your core workout routine, here are my five favorite abdominal exercises all without having to do a sit up!

 

Hanging Knee Tucks  

  • Grab and hang from a high bar or use an attachment to support your arms. 
  • Raise legs by flexing hips and knees up towards your chest. 
  • Return until waist, hips, and knees are fully extended and your body is hanging straight.
  • Repeat 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Variation: Place a weight between ankles and/or perform straight leg extensions instead of knee tucks.

Core.Hanging Knee

 

Beast Pose 

  • Start in a quadruped position with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
  • Raise your knees a few inches above the floor, hold for a few seconds and then slowly lower your knees back to the floor.
  • Repeat 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

Variation: Add alternating shoulder taps while keeping your hips stable and knees lifted off the floor.

 

Pallof Press 

  • Stand parallel to a cable machine clasping the handle in both hands with your palms together.
  • Step a few feet away from the cable to create tension standing with your feet about shoulder distance apart, or wider if you need additional help to stabilize, and your knees slightly bent.
  • Position the handle at the center of your chest and press out until your arms are fully extended and return at a slow controlled pace.
  • Repeat 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions on each side.

Variation: Perform the pallof press in a tall kneeling position.

 

Lateral plank walks 

  • Begin this exercise by starting in a high plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Simultaneously move your right hand and right foot out to the side and then walk your left hand and left foot in to follow.
  • Keep your hips level and stable.
  • Move slow and controlled.
  • Perform 10-15 reps both directions.

Variation: Hold the plank without moving for 30-60 seconds.

 

Medicine Ball Wood Chop

  • Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Hold the medicine ball with both hands above your right shoulder.
  • Keeping your back straight, bring the medicine ball down across your body towards the outside of your left thigh in one movement.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions on both sides.

 

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