10 Killer Core Strengthening Exercises For MenGuys, building your core is about more than just getting a six-pack; your core muscles function as your central movement facilitator. Working your core strengthens the deep internal muscles close to your spine and will improve your stability and balance. It will help relieve any back pain and drastically improve your posture. Core exercises are also some of the most simple and versatile to perform.
Start incorporating these 10 core exercises for men into your workout routine. Always remember to breath as you perform your exercises!
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Lie face-up with legs and arms extended. Keeping knees and elbows locked, simultaneously raise upper body and lower body while trying to touch fingers to toes.
2. Plank with twist
Get into the plank position on the floor — supporting your weight on your toes and your forearms.
Keep your body straight at all times. Pivot to one side, raising that arm vertically above you as you twist. Pause and return to the starting position, and then repeat on the other side.
3. Back extensions
Lie face down on a hyperextension bench, tucking your ankles securely under the footpads. With your body straight, cross your arms in front of you or behind your head. This will be your starting position. You can also hold a weight plate for extra resistance in front of you under your crossed arms.
Start bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping your back flat. Keep moving forward until you feel a nice stretch on the hamstrings. Only go as far forward as your body allows without rounding the back.
Slowly raise your torso back to the initial position. Do not arch your back past a straight line.
4. Plate twist
Lie down on the floor or an exercise mat with your legs fully extended and your upper body upright. Grab the plate by its sides with both hands out in front of your abdominals with your arms slightly bent.
Slowly cross your legs near your ankles and lift them up off the ground. Your knees should also be bent slightly. Move your upper body back slightly to help keep you balanced during this exercise.
Move the plate to the left side and touch the floor with it. Come back to the starting position and then repeat the movement to the right side of the body.
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5. Box jumps
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, at a comfortable distance from the box. When you’re ready to jump, drop quickly into a quarter squat, swing your arms, and push your feet through the floor to propel yourself onto the box.
Don’t “stick” your landing. Avoid planting your feet by maintaining a “bounce” and being slightly on your toes.
6. Flutter kicks
Lie on your back with your legs together and extended out straight. You can either place your arms out to the sides of your body with your palms down, or under your butt.
Lift your legs off the ground about 6 inches. Lift your head and shoulders slightly off the ground, this will bring your upper abs into the exercise.
Start flutter kicking — a little like you’re doing backstroke in the pool. Continue kicking until you feel a good burn in your abs; rest, and repeat.
7. Barbell Side Bends
Stand up straight while holding a barbell placed on the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck). Your feet should be shoulder width apart.
While keeping your back straight and your head up, bend only at the waist to the right as far as possible. Hold for a second and come back up to the starting position. Keep the rest of the body stationary.
Now repeat the movement but bending to the left instead. Hold for a second and come back to the starting position.
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8. Air-bike crunches
Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands beside your head, but be careful not strain and place too much pressure on your neck as you perform it. Now lift your shoulders into the crunch position.
Slowly go through a cycle pedal motion kicking forward with the right leg and bringing in the knee of the left leg. Bring your right elbow close to your left knee by crunching to the side. Do the same on the opposite side and continue to alternate in this manner.
9. Hanging leg raises
Hang from a chin-up bar with both arms extended at arms length in top of you using either a wide grip or a medium grip. Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Go back slowly to the starting position and repeat.
10. Alternating Superman
Lie face down on a mat with your arms stretched above your head (like superman). Raise your right arm and left leg about 5-6 inches off the ground (or as far as you comfortably can). Hold for at least 3 seconds and relax. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. For the Full Superman, raise both arms and legs and hold, before returning to your resting position.