Your core is made up of the muscles of the abdominals and the lower back. These muscles work together to support almost every movement you make. A strong core improves your balance and flexibility, but it may also reduce back pain and improve your ability to recover from injury. Get creative with your routine and add some of these moves to strengthen core muscles.
Step your right foot out two to three feet in front of you. Hold a 5 to 10 pound dumbbell with both hands at chest level. Slowly lower into a lunge and twist your torso to the right. Stand back up into the starting position and rotate your torso back to the center. To make the move more challenging, hold the dumbbell out away from your body with your arms extended. Do 10 to 12 repetitions to the right, switch your legs and repeat on the other side.
Standing Back Raises
Stand with your feet a little wider than hips-width apart. Place your fingertips behind your ears. Keeping the upper body in a straight line from your head to your lower back, bend forward at the hips until your upper body is parallel to the floor. Keep your upper body in a straight line and raise back up to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.
Side Plank Raises
Lie on your right side with your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your heel. Prop yourself up on your right elbow and forearm with your hips elevated off the floor. Slowly lower your body towards the floor until your right hip almost touches the ground. Raise your hips back to the the starting position. Do 10 to 12 repetitions on the right and switch sides.
Single Side Bicycle Crunch
Lie on your back on the floor. Place your fingertips behind your ears and extend your right leg so it is elevated about six inches off the floor. Keep your left foot flat on the floor with the knee bent. Crunch and curl to the right as you bring your right knee in towards your left shoulder. Return to the starting position. Complete 10 to 12 repetitions and switch sides.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor along your sides, palms facing down. Press through your heels and raise your bottom off the ground creating a straight line from your knees down to your shoulders. Hold for one count and release. Complete 10 to 12 repetitions.