Core Exercises

Did you know that your core is where all movement in your body originates? Core exercises are an important part of overall fitness training that, except for the occasional sit-up or crunch, are often neglected.

To get your core muscles in better shape, it's important to understand what your body's core is and how you can strengthen it.

Understanding your core

Your body's core the area around your trunk and pelvis is where your center of gravity is located. A strong core gives you:

When you have good core stability, the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen work in harmony. They provide support to your spine for just about any activity.

A weak core can make you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries. Strong core muscles provide the brace of support needed to help prevent such pain and injury.

Strengthening your core

Core strengthening requires the regular and proper exercise of your body's 29 core muscles. Basic exercises that will enhance your core fitness include the:

A fun alternative to your basic core strengthening regimen is to learn exercises that use a fitness ball. Balancing on these oversized, inflated balls requires that you focus on using your core muscles for support.

Getting the most from your workout

It's important to do your core exercises at least three times a week. For optimal results, remember to:

Core exercises build abs and other core muscles

The core , or trunk, of your body is your centre of gravity. Strong core muscles - abdominal, back and pelvis - provide support to your spine for everything from walking, lifting and standing to sitting. Weak core muscles may lead to poor posture, lower back pain and injury.

You can strengthen your core muscles, including your abs, by doing core exercises at home on a cushioned floor surface or at the gym on a mat. Perform each of the exercises five times. Gradually advance to 10 to 15 repetitions as you get stronger. Master the basic exercises before attempting the advanced ones.

Click here for detailed instructions for the exercises.