Get Your Core in Shape with These 7 Effective Exercises

July 28, 2015
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If you want to have a strong-looking core, you need to incorporate the best abs exercises in your regular workout. You will only get an amazing core if your abs exercises will work on the two dozen muscles between your hips and your shoulders.

Core exercises are good because they will not only sculpt your core muscles but will also give you stability and strength. Here are some moves that will help you achieve a well-sculpted core that is good to look at in any angle.

1. Farmer’s Walk

Farmer's Walk-GymMembershipFeesThe next time you go to Equinox or Lifetime Fitness gym, take a walk. David Jack, owner of ActivPrayer in Phoenix, Arizona and creator of Men’s Health 60-Day Transformation says: “The dumbbell farmer’s walk may be one of the most underutilized exercises, and it’s also one of the simplest to do.”

It is actually easier for you to carry heavy stuff such as luggage or cases of beer for a party. This exercise will challenge your core muscles as you try to stabilize your body as the load shifts with each step that you take.

It will not only strengthen your grip but other areas in your body such as your forearms, trapezoids and deltoids.

2. Kettlebell Juggler

Doing the Kettlebell Juggler doesn’t mean that you have to be an expert in juggling things just like a circus performer. B.J. Gaddour, C.S.C.S., director of Men’s Health StreamFIT says: “When done at high-speed, this cutting-edge exercise fries fat and reveals your abs.”

As you shift the kettlebell from one hand to the other, you will stabilize your core against your arm movements. In addition your biceps, shoulders, and back muscles will be forced to work together so that you can control the pace at which you are catching and releasing the kettlebell. Even your body will be given a good workout with this abs exercise.

3. Hip Up

The hip-up exercise is the best abs exercise because you are required to keep your spine straight. Examples of hip-up exercise are picking up your kids from the floor, shoveling the snow, doing pushup reps, walking up stairs and similar exercise movements.

As you do this, you will also increase your rotational control, sculpt your obliques and stabilize your spine. Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, California says “That’s why the best abs exercises don’t flex your spine; they keep your spine straight.”

4. Single-Arm Overhead Press

This type of overhead dumbbell press focuses on your upper back, shoulders and arm muscles. If you vary the movements slightly, it will also target your abs. You can also tweak this exercise by just using one dumbbell.

“Using a single dumbbell instead of two creates an unbalanced load, pulling you to the side,” says Gaddour. “The goal is to stay perfectly upright, so you must squeeze your glutes and brace your middle, like you’re about to be punched in the gut, the entire time,” he explains.

5. Three-Point Core Touch

This is a very athletic move that takes the plank to a higher level. By speeding up your movements, you will get your heart pumping. By slowing down, you will target your core muscles. Both methods will enhance your athleticism and sculpt your abs beautifully.

“It not only improves your core stability, but it targets muscles in your hips, groin, lower back, and often-neglected lower abs,” explains Durkin.

6. Swiss-Ball Jackknife

This is not as popular as other abs exercises but it is probably the best power movement that will shape your abs. It will target your core and will force it to work harder because of its soft, unstable surface challenges. This will also improve your coordination and balance.

David Jack says it is one of the most effective core-sculpting moves. “It recruits your entire midsection, which includes your hip flexors, lower back, glutes, obliques, lower abs, and six-pack muscles,” he explains.

7. Rotational Side Plank

This exercise adds a twist to your core exercises and will provide you with greater results. Assume a side plank, and rotate your torso by reaching under your ribs and behind with your arm. This simple adjustment will hammer the abs muscles on your sides or your obliques because it forces your entire core to stabilize against the movement.

Jack says “Most guys neglect their obliques in favor of their six-pack muscles, and that’s a mistake.”

“Your obliques not only support your spine, but they also help your abs work together with the muscles of your hips and lower back to explosively rotate your torso,” he adds.

With this exercise, you will be able to lift heavier weights on every exercise. You will also increase considerable amounts of rotational power to your tee shot and other exercises that require additional strength when you’re bending your knees.

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