We use our core muscles for just about everything – from getting out of bed in the morning, to strength training at the gym, and even to pushing a cart while grocery shopping. So this month, we’re talking about some of the best exercises to work on your core strength.  

Keep in mind that it’s important to not simply isolate the abs to build strength, but to do exercises that require stabilization of the entire torso, like with multi-joint movements.  


Many people know that the plank is one of the best ways to work the core because it engages muscles throughout the entire body. Not only will it strengthen your abs, but it will also help with posture while you walk, run, sit, etc.  

Begin on the floor with your hands underneath shoulders. Lifting from the knees or toes, engage your core and lift into a tall plank position. Keep your spine neutral and body in a straight life from shoulders to hips to feet. 

To increase difficulty of the exercise, you can increase the length that you hold the plank, or add variations like shoulder taps, toe taps, or mountain climber knees. If you try variations to the standard plank, ensure that you remain in your neutral spine position.  

Dead Bug

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your arms so your hands are stacked right above your shoulders. Then, keeping your legs bent, lift your knees up so they’re stacked above your hips. Slowly lower your right arm and left leg out and straight, until they’re just above the floor. With control, slowly bring them back in. This is one rep. Remember to work both sides evenly.  

Glute Bridge

Though many people think of the glute bridge as exclusively a glute and hamstring exercise, bridges can also help build core stability as well.  

To do the glute bridge, start by lying face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms by your sides. Lift your hips up off the ground until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze the glutes hard and keep your core drawn and braced. Make sure to not overly arch the spine. Hold for a couple seconds before bringing the hips back down.  

You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by adding weights or trying single leg glute bridges. 

Bird Dog

Begin on all fours, in a tabletop position. Make sure hands are stacked underneath the shoulders and knees are stacked underneath the hips. Maintain a neutral spine by bracing your core. With control, raise your right arm and left leg out straight, keeping your shoulders and hips parallel to the ground. Keep your gaze down so the neck is in line with the rest of the spine. Hold for a few seconds, then bring the arm and leg back down. This is one rep. Remember to work both sides evenly. 

Heavy Lifting

As mentioned above, using your core to stabilize your spine is one of the more effective ways to strengthen your core as a unit. This includes the front and back of your torso. To safely perform lifting movements, such as squats and deadlifts, all require this stabilization of the torso. Just keep in mind to move slowly and mindfully, and to not lift too heavy too fast.  

Comment below your favorite ways to work your core! 

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