If you haven’t tried a core exercise program yet – here’s a few free exercises you can have a go at without calling in a personal trainer.
One of the best things about exercising your core muscles is that you can do it for free in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a fitness ball and somewhere soft like a carpeted floor or a mat and you’re ready to go.
Core exercise can be one of the easiest forms of anti aging exercise to fit into your schedule – however busy you are. Even better – core exercises help strengthen your core and firm those stubborn areas of abdominal flab which settle as we get older.
Don’t worry too much if you don’t have a fitness ball – try out the first two free core exercises first to see how you get on. Perfect these core exercises up to the maximum repetitions and then decide whether you want to go any further.
If you’ve got an exercise ball lying around deflated and unused – get it out now, pump it up and get started.
Core Strength Ab Roll – Begin in a push-up position, either on your toes or on your knees depending on how you would normally perform push-ups. Slowly lower your body into a push-up and then, as you come up, gently twist your body to the right whilst sweeping your right hand outwards and upwards. Repeat with the left hand. Keep the abdominal muscles tight throughout by pulling your navel in towards your spine. Keep your hips and torso aligned and breathe normally throughout the exercise. Rest and repeat the sequence. Aim to build to around 10-15 repetitions of the sequence.
Seated Knee Raise Crunch – This exercise doesn’t need an exercise ball and can be done just about anywhere there’s a chair. Sit up straight on the chair with your feet flat on the floor, your abdominals held tight and your shoulders squeezed together. Raise one foot in a slow, deliberate movement while curling forward with your shoulders. Hold for a second. Return your foot to the floor and repeat with the other leg. Gradually increase this core exercise routine until you can do 15 repeats on each leg.
Butt Lift – Lie face up on your exercise ball with your head, neck and shoulders supported by the ball and your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent. Squeeze your glutes (muscles in the fatty part of your butt) so that your hips raise and the body is in a straight line. Check that your knees are straight. Lower and repeat several times increasing to 15 repeats.
Hip extension – Lie on your back on the floor with your heels resting on the ball. Keeping your abdominals tight, slowly lift your hips from the floor while squeezing your buttocks until your body is in a straight line. Hold for a count of 3 and then lower. Increase the number of repeats until you’re able to do this core exercise 15 times.
Remember to warm up before starting your core exercises and keep the breaks between each core exercise as short as possible. End your free core exercise training session with a few simple stretching exercises and a cool drink to replenish fluids. Don’t push yourself if you feel uncomfortable or anything causes you pain.
The key is consistency. Perform a few core exercises daily until you can do the maximum repeats easily. Then you can add more core exercises to your session. Eventually when you are feeling fitter and more toned – you can reduce the number of training core exercise sessions to twice or three times a week to suit your lifestyle.
Doing core exercises like these on a regular basis will tone and firm your abdominal muscles supporting your upper body and back – essential to avoid back problems as you get older.
As a bonus – you’ll also find you hold yourself better and look younger as a result!