Best Core Exercises For Both Men and Woman

If you are looking for the best core exercises, you are in the right place. The words ‘core’ and ‘abs’ are often used interchangeably in casual workout conversations, but the core is actually much more complex than just the coveted six-pack. Training both the deep and superficial core muscles to protect the spine increases stability and mobility in joints and safeguards against injury.

The core is responsible for developing power, maintaining balance and stability, and improving coordination during movement. Include these core strengthening exercises into your next workout to strengthen your core and tone your abs. By doing these best core exercises, you can sculpt your abs and also strengthen your core in the same workout. A strong core will keep you healthy and pain-free.

When many people think of core exercises, the first thing that often comes to mind is sculpting the “six-pack,” so they focus primarily on training the rectus abdominis (the abs you see when you look in the mirror).

In reality, your core is composed of many muscles in the abdomen (rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques), hips, back, serratus anterior, butt, and legs, and it’s necessary to work all of these muscles groups to build a strong core.

Know More about your Core Muscle

Core Muscle
  • The Rectus abdominis is the long, flat muscle that runs the length of the front of the abdomen. It assists posture and is responsible for flexing the lumbar spine.
  • External Oblique muscle is located along the sides and in front of the abdomen and is the largest of the three flat abdominal muscles. The external oblique pulls the chest down to compress the abdominal area and is also important in rotating the trunk.
  • Internal Oblique muscle is located along the sides and in front of the abdomen, below the external oblique, and above the transverse abdominis. When this muscle is contracted, it is responsible for side bending and brings the rib cage closer to the hip. It also aids with trunk rotation.
  • Transversus abdominis, is the deepest part of the abdominals, which lies horizontally across the abdominal wall. Its primary role is to assist with breathing, especially exhalation from the lungs. It also helps with the stabilization of the spine.
  • Erector Spinae is a group of three muscles, the iliocostalis, longissimus, and spinalis. Its function is to extend the back and assist with side-to-side rotation.
  • The Hip Flexors group of muscles is located along the front side of the body, from the abdomen through the top of the thigh. They include the psoas major, iliacus, rectus femoris, pectineus, and sartorius. The hip flexors are responsible for bringing the legs into flexion and toward the trunk.
  • The hamstrings muscle group is located along the back of the thigh, starting at the bottom of the pelvis and ending at the lower leg below the knee joint. The group is composed of three muscles: semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris. The hamstrings are responsible for bending and extending at the knee.

Core Exercises Benefits

1. Strengthening the Core Reduces Back Pain

Abdominals get all the credit for protecting the back and being the foundation of strength, but they are only a small part of what makes up the core. In fact, it is weak and unbalanced core muscles that are linked to low back pain.

Weak core muscles result in a loss of the appropriate lumbar curve and a swayback posture. Stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain appropriate posture and reduce strain on the spine.

2. Helps improve posture

Most of us have tension in our upper back, neck, and shoulders due to constant hunching over a computer at work, looking at our phones, and from sitting and driving. This constant slumping can create stiffness and tightness over time, not to mention postural imbalances.

Training the muscles of the core also corrects postural imbalances that can lead to injuries. The biggest benefit of core training is to improve posture and develop functional fitness – that is, fitness that is essential to both daily living and regular activities.

3. Strong core prevents pain and injuries

core strength may be a factor in preventing injuries, due to the nature of core musculature and the spine. Without proper support during movement, your spine is at risk for injury — the less stable your spine, the greater the risk for injury. 

Strong core muscles allow you to keep your spine in a safe, neutral position during movement, rather than overly flexing, extending, or rotating

4. Enhance flexibility

As mentioned above, core exercises stabilize the lower back. This can do wonders for your ligaments and muscles. With a stabilized back, stress and tension are removed, implying a greater range of motion and enhanced flexibility.

5. Supports Strength Training

Strength isn’t just important in your core — working the muscles throughout your body can help you function your best. And a solid core sets the stage for success with that additional strength training. “A strong core means the ability to lift more weight”. Strong lifts require a great deal of stability and core strength to execute with proper form.”

6. Increased Power Development

Core exercises at the gym increase the stability and make it stronger which increases power development. Power is the predominant component of many sports and athletes.

Power-related sports where the combination of speed and strength make all the difference in performance outcomes, power can be the determining factor between movement success and failure. A strong and stable core allows power to be generated and transferred through the kinetic chain.

7. It Supports Good Running Form

A strong core also helps you sustain solid form when you run. “Core strength allows the pelvis, hips, and lower back to work together more smoothly with less rocking and less excess energy expended. Not only does that bode well for your next run, but regularly practicing good form can help you avoid strain or injury as you log those miles.

30 Best Core Exercises

Do These best Core Exercises for a Strong Core and an Awesome Abs.

1. Lying Straight Leg Raise

Lying leg raises are touted as killer core exercises. It helps alleviate low back pain since it improves the overall strength and stabilization of your core.

Straight leg exercise is often used in Physical Therapy to help patients improve the strength of their lower extremities.

The straight leg raise exercise does not require you to bend the knee joint. This is encouraged when an individual has advanced arthritis in their knee.  The straight leg raise exercise strengthens the muscles of the upper thigh, the quadriceps, without placing any stress on the knee joint.

Lying Straight Leg Raise abs Exercises

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus Abdominis, Iliopsoas

Secondary: Obliques, serratus anterior, Quadriceps, Hip flexors.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie faceup on the floor/bench with your entire body straight and your hands at your sides to stabilize your torso.
  2. Hold your legs a few inches off the floor.
  3. Raise your legs up toward the ceiling until they are just short of perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.

Tips

  • Keep your lower back pressed against the bench or mat.
  • Move slow and with control, making sure not to arch your back at any point in the move.

2. Plank

Front plank is among the most popular core exercises. It is a brilliant bodyweight exercise that helps you to develop the strength and stability of your core. Your muscles are exercised isometrically.

The most common plank is the forearm plank, which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body’s weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. Many variations exist, such as the side plank and the reverse plank.

The plank is more of a strength-building exercise than a cardio exercise, engaging a range of muscles can also help to boost your calorie burn.

Plank Muscles Worked

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus Abdominis

Secondary: Obliques, Quadriceps, hip flexors (iliopsoas, rectus femoris).

Execution Technique

  1. Start to get in a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands.
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  3. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  4. Hold this position as directed.

Tips

  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

3. Side Plank

The side plank is one of the best core exercises for strengthening the oblique abdominal and glute muscles, which don’t get worked as much during abs exercises such as crunches.

You will hold your body on your side in a straight position, supported only by one arm and the side of one foot. Strong obliques can be quite useful as core stabilization muscles. If you’re new to planking, you should master the basic forearm plank before moving on to the side plank variation.

Side Plank

Muscles Involved

Primary: Obliques, rectus abdominis.

Secondary: Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Psoas Major, Serratus anterior.

Execution Technique

  1. Get in a side plank position by lying on your right side on the floor with your left foot rested on top of the inner side of your right foot and your left arm rested on top of your left side.
  2. Raise your body by placing your right forearm flat on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso.
  3. Lift your torso until your right upper arm is straight underneath you, with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your forearm flat on the floor.
  4. In this position, only your right forearm and the outer side of your right foot are making contact with the floor and your body forms a diagonal line that is at about a 20-degree angle to the floor.
  5. Keep your abs pulled in tight and hold this position for as long as you can, and then repeat on the left side.

Tips

  • Keep your legs and body straight.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

4. Dead Bug

The dead bug exercise is a popular way to build core strength and stabilization. It helps build a solid, stable foundation that protects the spine and allows for greater ease in every day and athletic movements, such as moving heavy objects, walking up hills, and throwing.

This move also helps prevent and relieve low back pain by protecting your lower back. The dead bug is great for connecting your mind and to your core.

Dead Bug

Muscles Involved

Primary: Abs, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors, erector spinae, transverse abdominis

Execution Technique

  1. Lie face up with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your legs in a tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and stacked over your hips).
  2. Slowly extend your right leg out straight, while simultaneously dropping your left arm overhead. Keep both a few inches from the ground. Squeeze your butt and keep your core engaged the entire time, lower back pressed into the floor.
  3. Bring your arm and leg back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat on the other side, extending your left leg and your right arm.

Tips

  • As the arm and leg extend, do not allow the chest to rise and arch the back. Maintain a neutral spine.
  • Engage your core and practice slow, controlled movements.

5. Twisting Sit-Up

The decline twisting sit-up is an abdominal and oblique exercise made to strengthen your core and build muscle. It’s a great exercise for intermediate to advanced lifters because it’s moderately challenging but very effective for its intended purpose.

Sit-up can be made easier for beginner by performing the exercise on a flat bench.

Make it more difficult by holding a weight plate either behind your head, in your hands, or on your chest and tilting the bench at a steeper angle also which makes the core exercises more difficult.

Twisting sit-up

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors.

Execution Technique

  1. Sit on the decline bench, hook your feet under the pad, lean back, and position your hands behind your head.
  2. As you sit up, twist your torso, directing your right elbow toward your left knee.
  3. Reverse the motion and lower your torso to the starting position; during the next repetition direct your left elbow toward your right knee.
  4. Keep repeating and alternating the side to which you twist your waist.

Tips

  • Keep your neck in a neutral position.
  • Use a slow, controlled motion to target the muscles. 

6. Abs wheel rollout

The wheel rollout exercise is one of the little advanced core exercises. To build yourself up to it, you can start with the plank and graduate to the wheel rollout when ready. You can also make the exercise easier by performing it up an inclined surface.

Ab wheel rollout exercise is considered to be a great move to assist the development of aesthetic abs and strong core muscles. They’re also an excellent conditioning exercise for athletes. You can add ab wheel workout to your core workout routine at home or in gyms.

Abs wheel rollout

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus Abdominis, hip flexors

Secondary: Obliques, Quadriceps, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi, Pectoralis, posterior Deltoid, Erector Spinae

Execution Technique

  1. Kneel on the floor and grasp the ab wheel roller with your hands, your arms should be straight and your torso fairly upright in the start position.
  2. Allow the abs wheel to roll forward as far as possible with just your knees and toes touching the floor while you maintain your grip on this.
  3. The goal is to be as flat as possible in the finish position, with your torso and upper legs parallel with the floor and hovering just a couple of inches above it.
  4. Then reverse the motion to pull the abs wheel back toward your knees until your body is upright again. Repeat for as many reps as possible.

Tips

  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.
  • Move within a comfortable range of motion. You should not strain your lower back.
  • Do not allow your hips to sag at any point during the movement.

7. Barbell rollout

The barbell roll-out is one of the best core exercises that utilize a barbell in the place of an ab roller. It is best performed with a barbell that has rotating collars and is considered more difficult than other ab roller variations.

Many lifters may not be able to perform a single rep at first, but once they can perform these for reps, they’ll be rewarded with a seriously strong core.

Barbell rollout

Execution Technique

  1. Kneel on the floor in front of a loaded barbell and grab the barbell with an overhand, shoulder-width group.
  2. Your arms should be straight and your torso fairly upright in the start position.
  3. Allow the bar to roll forward as far as possible with just your knees and toes touching the floor while you maintain your grip on the bar.
  4. The goal is to be as flat as possible in the finish position with your torso and upper legs parallel with the floor and hovering just a couple of inches above it.
  5. Then reverse the motion to pull the bar back toward your knees until your body is upright again. Repeat for as many reps as possible.

Tips

  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.
  • Move within a comfortable range of motion. You should not strain your lower back.
  • Do not allow your hips to sag at any point during the movement.

8. Cross Body Mountain Climber

Crossbody mountain climbers are praised as killer core exercises. It is an explosive bodyweight exercise that engages multiple muscle groups at once helping to improve your balance, agility, coordination, strength, flexibility, and blood circulation almost like getting a total-body workout with just one exercise.

As you perform the move, your shoulders, arms, and chest work to stabilize your upper body while your core stabilizes the rest of your body. As the prime mover, your quads get an incredible workout, too and because it’s a cardio exercise, you’ll get heart health benefits and burn calories. Must add these core exercises to your core workout regime.

Cross Body Mountain Climber

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques, iliopsoas

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Rectus Femoris

Execution Technique

  1. Start in the push-up position with your arms completely straight and directly beneath your shoulders.
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  3. Squeeze your abs, lift one foot off the floor and bring your left knee towards your right elbow while keeping your body in as straight of a line as possible.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement with your opposite leg.

Tips

  • Don’t round your lower back.
  • Don’t lift your hips too high. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

9. Bird dog

The bird-dog is a bodyweight floor exercise that strengthens the core—more specifically, the abdominal, oblique muscles, lower back, butt, and thighs.

The bird dog is one of the best core exercises that looks elegant and is also very effective for training the abdominal muscles, oblique and back. Several other muscles are also addressed, including the glutes.

Bird dog

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques, iliopsoas

Secondary: Hip flexors, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Rectus Femoris

Execution Technique

  1. Get on your knees and place your hands on the floor in front of your body at shoulder width.
  2.  Keep your spine in neutral position and contract your abs and lift one hand and the opposite knee slightly off the floor.
  3. Now extend your arm and leg all the way out. Try to form a straight plane from your hand to your foot.
  4. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other side. Repeat the exercise alternately.

Tips

  • Don’t raise your leg and arm higher than your back.
  • Keep your spine neutral and engage your core to prevent your back from sagging.
  • Don’t allow your chest to sink down toward the floor.
  • Keep your hips level and don’t rotate your pelvis.

10. V-Up

The V-Up also known as a jackknife is a full-body move that works your core, legs, back, and shoulders. The exercise works the upper and lower abdominal muscles simultaneously. A V-Up involves sitting on the floor or a mat and positioning the body in the shape of the letter “V.

The v-up is one of the best advanced core exercises. To make it more difficult, hold a weight plate or medicine ball in your hands and wear a pair of ankle weights while you perform the standard V-up.

V – Up

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie down on the floor on your back with your arms extended straight back behind your head. Your legs should also be extended.
  2. Exhale and bend at your waist while raising your legs and arms to meet in a jacknife movement. Try to hold the contracted position.
  3. Lower your arms and legs back to the starting position, inhaling as you do so.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Tips

  1. Keep the movement slow and controlled.
  2. Try to keep your back as straight as you can during the V sit up.

11. Superman

Superman is one of the best core exercises that you can do at home. It strengthens your upper and lowers back muscles. It also works on your glutes and your hamstring muscles.

If done regularly, the Superman may help alleviate back pain that is related to weak back muscles. In addition to strengthening back muscles. Must add superman is your core exercises regime to alleviate back pain and strengthen the back and core muscles.

Superman Exercise

Muscles Involved

Primary: Erector Spinae.

Secondary: Gluteus Maximus, hamstrings.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie down with your stomach flat on the ground. Extend your arms in front of you, with your palms down.
  2. Lift your head, raise your arms and your chest off the ground as far as possible.
  3. Bend your legs and lift your thighs off the ground, as much as possible. (Try to make a big “U” with your back.)
  4. At this point, you should feel your back muscles, your glutes, and hamstrings tighten up.

Tips

  • Try holding for only five or 10 seconds your first time, and work up to 30 seconds in future workouts.
  • Do not hold your breath. Breathe regularly.

12. Flat bench hyperextension

Flat Bench Hyperextension exercise directly hits the erector spinae muscles building a strong back. It helps to build the lower back Erector spinae muscles.

To make Hyperextensions difficult, you can also hold a plate to your chest or behind the head for additional resistance. If the exercise becomes easy, you can do a lot of reps.

Flat bench hyperextension

Muscles Involved

Primary: Erector spinae.

Secondary: Latissimus dorsi, gluteals, hamstrings.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie face down on a flat bench with your torso extending off the end, and hook your heels under the bench to prevent yourself from falling forward.
  2. Place your hands on your chest (or behind your neck) and bend down through your waist.
  3. Return to the start position but avoid extending beyond the body level.
  4. Do the desired number of reps and sets.
 Tips
  • Avoid hyperextension beyond the body level.
  • Keep movement always under control without letting gravity take you down faster.

13. Good Morning Exercise

The good-morning is a weight training exercise. It is known as a good morning because of the movement in the erector spinae which resembles the rise out of bed to stretch. The erector spinae muscles of the lower back work isometrically to keep the spine in an extended position, while the hamstrings and gluteus maximus work isotonically to perform hip extension.

When done with solid spinal alignment and perfect form, the good morning can be a great move for improving your back health.

To allow your lower back to adapt to the good morning exercise, start with a lightweight or with a stick and gradually add more weight. You must add this Erector spinae workout to your core exercises arsenal.

Good Morning Exercise

Muscles Involved

Primary: Erector spinae.

Secondary: Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus and hamstrings.

Execution Technique

  1. Stand holding a Stick on the back of your shoulders, grasping the Stick at each side. Can also perform the exercise as in the bodyweight version.
  2. Keeping your knees slightly flexed and your back and neck neutral, inhale as you flex your hips to lower your torso until it is close to or fully horizontal.
  3. Exhale as you raise your torso back up to the starting position by extending your hips.
Tips
  • Keep your back and neck neutral throughout the exercise.
  • It is recommended that the lifter avoid rounding (flexing) or rotation (twisting) at any point during the movement.
  • Keep the movement slow, the form strict, and the weight light.

14. Hip Bridge

The hip bridge is among the most popular core exercises. It is a good starter move for butt, hamstring, and low back muscles and the best back exercises at home for managing chronic low back pain. It is one of the valuable glute and core strengthening exercises.

Hip Bridge

Muscles Involved

Primary: Gluteus Maximus, Erector Spinae.

Secondary: Obliques, Quadriceps, Rectus Abdominis, and Hamstring.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie faceup on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down.
  2. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line.
  3. Squeeze those glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.
  4. Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before keeping back down.
Tips
  • Do not push with your arms.
  • To make the Hip bridge exercise more difficult, hold a weight plate on your lap.

15. Pallof Press

The Pallof Press is a full-body exercise that can increase overall stability and activate many large muscle groups in the body.

The beauty of the Pallof press is that it challenges and strengthens the stabilization action of your abs. That’s because when you do this exercise, it forces your core to resist the rotation or compression of your spine, which forces your entire core to engage.

Pallof Press

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors, Erector Spinae, Pectoralis

Execution Technique

  1. Attach a handle to a chest-high cable pulley. Stand on to the side cable machine with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Grasp the handle with the hand nearest the pulley, pull the handle to your chest, and place your free hand over the hand holding the handle.
  3. Engage your core and press the handle out with both hands so your arms are extended in front of your chest.
  4. Hold this position, resisting the pull of the cable and not letting your torso rotate towards the machine, for five to ten seconds then bring the handle back in to your chest.
  5. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.
Tips
  • Maintain a forward chest and straight back throughout the entire exercise.
  • Use a challenging weight but only to where you can maintain a straight body position. 

16. Cable wood chop

The cable wood chop is also known as the cable up-down twist and the cable woodchopper you must add these oblique workouts to your core exercises arsenal. This is great for strengthening the twisting movement pattern of your torso, as well as improving your torso’s ability to resist twisting forces.

You can do woodchops with a medicine ball or dumbbell, but the cable will give a constant tension that is preferable. It can be part of a core-strengthening workout or a total body workout.

Cable wood chop

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors, Gluteus, Erector Spinae, Pectoralis

Execution Technique

  1. Attach a handle to the top of cable pulley. Grasp the handle with both hands, with either your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other. Stand next to the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, Pull the handle in a diagonally downward motion until your torso faces away from the pulley and your hands are knee height.
  3. Hold for a count of two. Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.
Tips
  • Stop and hold the handle for a few seconds halfway through some reps, thus forcing your body to resist the twisting force.
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.
  • Keep your arms straight, shoulders locked in place.
  • Control the weight the whole time.

17. Cable down-up twist

The Cable down up twist is also know as low to high Cable Woodchop. The standing low cable chop is a variation of the wood chop and an exercise used to target the muscles of the abdominal complex. In particular, the standing low cable chop primarily works the obliques.

Use the cable down-up twist to strengthen and stabilize your core, and to strengthen the rotational movement pattern of your torso.

Cable down-up twist

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors, Gluteus, Erector Spinae, Pectoralis

Execution Technique

  1. Attach a handle to the lower of cable pulley. Grasp the handle with both hands, with either your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other. Stand next to the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, Pull the handle in a diagonally upward motion until your torso faces away from the pulley and your hands are knee height.
  3. Hold for a count of two. Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.
Tips
  • Stop and hold the stirrup for a few seconds halfway through some reps, thus forcing your body to resist the twisting force.
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.
  • Keep your arms straight, shoulders locked in place.
  • Keep the movement under control.

18. Cable Twist

The cable twist is an isolation exercise that works the oblique muscles of the core. It’s unique in that it not only helps to strengthen the core muscles, but it’s a functional exercise because it’s performed on the feet.

Use the cable twist to strengthen the twisting movement pattern of your body. It is a great idea to stop halfway through some reps, hold the stirrup, and try to resist the twisting force. This will strengthen your torso’s ability to resist twisting forces.

Cable Twist

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors, Gluteus, Erector Spinae, Pectoralis

Execution Technique

  1. Attach a handle to a shoulder-height cable pulley. Grasp the handle with both hands, with either your fingers interlaced or with one hand over the other. Stand next to the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, Pull the handle in a twisting motion, across your body to your opposite side until your torso faces away from the pulley.
  3. Hold for a count of two. Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.
Tips
  • Keep your arms straight, shoulders locked in place.
  • Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.
  • Control the weight the whole time

20. Lying Bent-Knee Twist

Lying Bent Knee twist is a bodyweight exercise that builds muscle and strength in the obliques.

This exercise can act as a stretch, but the main purpose is to stabilize your core and strengthen your obliques. In everyday life, your posture will benefit from this antidote to sitting and hunching overwork

The lying bent-knee oblique twist is an isolation exercise you can do the weighted version of the exercise with a ball in between your legs.

Lying Bent-Knee Oblique Twist

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, Obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, Hip flexors.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie on back on the floor or mat with arms extended out to sides to keep your body stable during the exercise.
  2. Raise and bent legs at a 90-degree angle, so thighs are vertical and lower legs are horizontal.
  3. Keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor, slowly lower your legs to one side until you feel a mild stretch in your lower back.
  4. Now, rotate your legs all the way to the right. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Tips
  • Maintain knee position throughout movement.
  • Exhale as your legs rise, and inhale as they descend.
  • Keep your core tight during the movement to activate your obliques against resistance.

21. Dumbbell Side Bend

The dumbbell side bend is effective at targeting the internal and external obliques, strengthening the lateral flexion of your spine, improving spinal mobility, and helping to develop a strong and stable core. It can be performed one side at a time or alternating sides.

The dumbbell side bend is an easy core exercise to practice at home. If you’re new to the exercise, practice the movement with your bodyweight alone.

Dumbbell Side Bend

Muscles Involved

Primary: Obliques, rectus abdominis.

Secondary: Serratus anterior.

Execution Technique

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell with a neutral grip in your right hand with your arm hanging at your side. You can place your free hand behind your head.
  2. Bend sideways at the waist to the left as low as possible using your oblique muscles to pull your torso down.
  3. Hold for a second and return to the starting position.
  4. Complete the desired number of reps and repeat on the other side.
Tip
  • Keep the dumbbell close to you side, your elbow very slightly bent, and your hips still.
  • To work the oblique muscle, perform this exercises slow and steadily .
  • Avoid using a heavy dumbbell for this exercise. Large overdeveloped oblique muscles will make your waist appear bulky.
  • Always keep your back straight, eyes facing forwards, and bend at the torso only.

22. Stability Ball Tuck

Stability Ball Tuck is also known as Stability-Ball Jackknife is a core stabilizing exercise that improves balance, strength, and flexibility throughout the hip and abdominal region. The stability ball tuck is one of those core exercises that looks like it’s fun to do.

Stability Ball Tuck

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques, iliopsoas

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Rectus Femoris

Execution Technique

  1. Lie on the floor in a push-up position with your feet resting on top of an exercise ball.
  2. Tuck your knees in toward your chest while rolling the ball forward.
  3. Hold the tucked position for a second, and then return to the starting position by extending your legs back.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Tips
  • Keep your neck neutral.
  • Do not allow your hips to sag throughout the movement.

21. Side Plank with Hip Abduction

The side plank hip abduction is an advanced variation of side plank exercise that you can do to target the obliques and outer thighs.

The hip abductors move the legs away from the body and rotate them at the hip joint so this plays an important role in keeping your knee and hip joints stable.

Side Plank with Hip Abduction

Muscles Involved

Primary: obliques, Gluteus Minimus

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors, Rectus abdominis,

Execution Technique

  1. Lie on the floor, on your left side, side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and legs stacked. Place your free hand on your hip.
  2. Straighten your body and legs. Your feet should be together, and your hip should be resting on the floor.
  3. Brace your abs and lift your hips off the floor until you’re balancing on your forearm and feet and your body forms a diagonal line.
  4. Lift your right leg at least 6 inches. Slowly bring your feet back together and lower your hip to the floor. Repeat on your right side.
Tips
  • Do not let your hips or shoulder sag, do not let your body rotate.
  • keep your core tight, so that your upper body remains stable, maintain your top leg straight.
  • Breathe out as you lift your top leg and squeeze the outer thigh.

22. Dumbbell Farmers Walk

The dumbbell farmer’s walk is a great exercise for improving your grip strength and building your abdominal muscles. It also improves your overall strength and functional fitness by strengthening your core, back, glutes, legs, and gait.

The farmer’s walk exercise also called the farmer’s carry, is a strength and conditioning exercise in which you hold a heavy load in each hand while walking for a designated distance.

Dumbbell Farmers Walk

Muscles Involved

Primary: Trapezius, Levator Scapulae, Rhomboids, Erector Spinae, Abs, Oblique.

Secondary: Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Quadriceps.

Execution Technique

  1. Deadlift a pair of dumbbells from the floor. Reach down, bending at the hips and knees, and grasp the dumbbells in each hand.
  2. Hold the dumbbells at your side with a firm grip. Stand tall, keeping your shoulders, back, and core tight.
  3. Take small steps and walk forward at an even pace with your eyes focused straight ahead of you.
  4. Complete the desired amount of steps, come to a stop, and place the dumbbells down while keeping a tight core and neutral spine.
Tips
  • Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades and tightening your abs.
  • Keep a neutral or straight spine throughout the movement to avoid injury.

23. Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell swings are based on the deadlift movement pattern and hit almost every muscle in the body especially those of the posterior chain resulting in a stronger back and hips.

The kettlebell swing can be used in cardio circuits and to strengthen your posterior chain muscles (erector spinae, gluteus maximus, adductor Magnus, hamstrings, and soleus).

Kettlebell Swing

Muscles Involved

Primary: Hamstring, gluteals.

Secondary: Spinal erectors, quadriceps.

Execution Technique

  1. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and stand in a spine-neutral position and your arms in front of your body and use both hands, palms down, to hold the kettlebell.
  2. With your knees bent slightly and hips thrust back, adopt a squat like position, but refrain from going as far down.
  3. Drive your hips forward while swinging the kettlebell forward and up to shoulder height. You should feel your hips and glutes engaging in this motion.
  4. The kettlebell should then be lowered back between your legs and the swinging motion repeated for 12-15 repetitions.
Tips
  • Keep your head up, your core tight, your back straight, your feet flat.
  • Do not swing the kettlebell too high; stop when your arms are parallel with the floor.

24. Russian Twist

The Russian twist engages your core and strengthens your abdominal muscles as well as your lower back. This exercise helps to tone and tighten your abs and obliques and to trim your waist. The Russian twist also helps to improve your balance, stability, and posture.

A more advanced way of performing the Russian twist is to raise your feet a little off the floor and a weighted Russian twist. A weighted twist makes these core exercises more difficult.

Russian Twist oblique

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie down with your knee bent at the knees and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Elevate your upper body so that it creates a V shape with your thighs.
  3. Begin to twist side to side while maintaining balance on your buttocks, keeping constant tension on the abs.
  4. Repeat this movement until the set is complete.
Tips
  • Keep your back straight at all times and twist your torso only from the ribs up.
  • Don’t move your head side to side.
  • Use a slow controlled motion to target the muscles. 

25. Landmine Twists

The landmine twist is a rotational abdominal movement performed using an angled barbell anchored at floor level in a landmine device. It can also be performed by sticking a barbell in the corner of a room.

It targets the deep muscles of the core, including both the obliques and the transversus abdominis.

Landmine Twists

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors.

Execution Technique

  1. Position a bar into a landmine or securely anchor it in a corner. Load the bar to an appropriate weight.
  2. Raise the bar off the floor, taking it to shoulder height with both hands with your arms extended in front of you. Adopt a wide stance.
  3. Rotate the trunk and hips as you swing the weight all the way down to one side. Keep your arms extended throughout the exercise.
  4. Reverse the motion to swing the weight all the way to the opposite side.
Tips
  • Keep a slight bend in your knees as you rotate, this should help take a bit of tension off your lumbar spine during the movement.
  • Try to keep your arms straight.

26. Dumbbell Lunges With Twist

Dumbbell Lunges With Twist is an excellent exercise to build thigh muscles and glutes, abs, and oblique. However this exercise requires good balance, so if you have issues keeping your balance, start off by doing the lunges twist exercise without weights as you learn the proper form.

Be careful that the knee of the forward leg does not extend past the toes as you bend the leg. This can aggravate the knee joint if done too much and lead to an injury.

Dumbbell Lunges With Twist

Muscles Involved

Primary: Quadriceps, abs, and oblique

Secondary: Gluteals, hamstrings, adductors.

Execution Technique

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold one dumbbell at your chest with both hands, gripping it on each end
  2. Our chest should be upright and your torso should be leaning slightly forward so that your back is flat and not arched or rounded forward.
  3. Take a step forward bending your knees, to create two 90-degree angles with your legs. Slowly rotate your torso to the left. You should feel a nice stretch in your midback.
  4. Push yourself back to the starting position and repeat with the other foot.
  5. Keep alternating the leg with which you lunge twist
Tips
  • Bend as far and low as possible without losing form.
  • Keep your torso upright and your head facing forward.
  • If you suffer from balance problems, it is best either avoid it, or just use your own bodyweight while holding on to a steady object.

27. Weighted Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are among the most popular core exercises that work the muscles of your core, specifically the lower abdominal muscles and the hip flexors. Flutter kicks reshape and tone your lower body. They help you in shedding some extra inches from the belly, hips, and thigh area.

Holding a dumbbell above your head at the top of a crunch challenges your core and lower abs—so does the flutter motion of your legs. Start with the weight above your shoulders, and to make it more difficult, bring it a little behind your head. While doing this Dumbbell Abs Workout make sure to keep your core super tight and lower back flat on the ground.

Weighted Flutter Kicks

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, hip flexors.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie on your back and hold a dumbbell in both hands by the bell. Hold the weight straight above your shoulders.
  2. Lift your shoulders and upper torso off the ground.
  3. Raise your legs a few inches off the ground and flutter kick your feet.
  4. If your back comes off the ground, or you feel any strain, bring your legs up a couple more inches.
Tips
  1. Keep the movement slow and controlled.
  2. Tighten your abs for better strength.

28. Turkish Get Up

The Turkish Get Up works the upper and lower abs. Using a dumbbell, the exercise also works the shoulder. Make sure to keep your core tight throughout the exercise. This is a great shoulder stability exercise, that works your core, too.

The benefits of the Turkish Get Up include improved strength, flexibility, and stability. Get Ups to improve shoulder strength, as well as, improving core performance. Get Ups also help with gaining full-body strength of the legs, glutes, core, and back. Must add this one of the best core exercises in your workout regime.

Turkish Get Up

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus abdominis, obliques.

Secondary: Serratus anterior, anterior shoulder, Gluteus and back.

Execution Technique

  1. Lie on your back on the floor and hold a dumbbell in one hand with your arm fully extended above your chest. Bend the knee of the same side to a 90-degree angle. Keep your opposite leg straight, and place it 5-10 degrees away from the midline of your body.
  2. Start by lifting the dumbbell to the sky, and crunching onto your opposite elbow. Keep the elbow of the arm holding the dumbbell locked out.
  3. Hike your hips in the air and sweep the straight leg underneath the body, stepping back and settling onto your knee.
  4. Shift the weight away from your hand and onto your knee and front foot as you bring your torso upright. Push to a standing position, keeping the dumbbell lifted the entire time. Lower slowly back to the ground.
Tips
  • Make sure you keep your elbow locked out throughout the exercise.
  • Keep your eyes focused on the dumbbell throughout the entire movement.
  • Take your time and concentrate on each segment of the exercise.

29. Bicycle Crunch

Back in 2001 ACE sponsored a study to find out exactly what the best abs exercise was, comparing 13 of the most common moves. In that study, the bicycle crunch was found to be the most effective. Compared with the standard crunch, the bicycle crunch was found to produce 148% more mean activity in the abs and 190% more mean activity in the obliques.

The bicycle crunch works out your abdominis muscles, your rectus femoris, your external obliques, and your Intercostals. To make it easier to do the exercise you can make the angle that your knees make smaller and to make the exercise harder you can make the angle between your legs bigger.

Bicycle Crunch

Muscles Involved

Primary: Rectus Abdominis

Secondary: Obliques, serratus anterior, Hip flexors

Execution Technique

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs straight and low back are flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands behind your head and raise your feet and upper back a little off the floor.
  3. Slowly start raising your knees about a 45-degree angle.
  4. Go through a bicycle pedaling motion with your legs as you alternately touch your elbows to the opposite knees, twisting back and forth.

Tips

  • Keep your neck neutral and your lower back pressed against the floor.
  • Make sure that you don’t pull your neck with your hands else you can get a neck strain.

30. Stiff-Leg Deadlift

The stiff leg deadlift is a variation of the deadlift and an exercise used primarily to target the muscles of the hamstrings and gluteals. For hamstrings requires a lighter weight than that used during the traditional power lift for strengthening the lower back

The stiff leg deadlift has long been thought of as the “leg” deadlift variation, despite all hip hinge movements primarily targeting the hamstrings.

Stiff-Leg Deadlift

Muscles Involved

Primary: Hamstring, gluteals.

Secondary: Spinal erectors, quadriceps.

Execution Technique

  1. Grasp a barbell using a shoulder-width pronated (overhand) grip or a mixed grip.
  2. Keeping your back straight, head up, and hips low, lift the barbell into a standing position.
  3. Flex your knees a little and push your hips backward and slowly lower the barbell down the front of your legs. Descend until you feel a mild stretch in your hamstrings.
  4. Exhale as you pull the barbell back up to the starting position by pushing your hips forward. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Tips
  • Keep your knees stiff, your back and arms straight, and your head up.
  • Do not allow the bar to drift away from your body during the lift. Keep the barbell close to your body.
  • Keep soft knees and ensure the movement occurs primarily at your hips.
  • lower the weight until your hamsbings reach full stretch without rounding your spine.

Thanks for reading Enjoy your Core Exercises!

Conclusion

For anyone, who is interested in building core muscles and gaining strength, these core exercises are highly recommended. It not only allows for targeted muscle development but also provides overall core development. If done consistently, the results will speak by themselves.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your core exercises!
Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge, before choosing to consume any product or perform any exercise.

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