Working out at the gym can be hard because we’re busier than ever. Being able to exercise from home is a good solution if you don’t have the time to hit the gym. Many people think they need fancy equipment to get a good workout and this keeps them going to the gym but the truth is you don’t need equipment.
Having a strong core is something that everyone wants. A strong core can improve posture, relieve lower back pain and tighten up the midsection. Unfortunately, core workouts won’t make the fat melt away from the midsection but a solid diet can get that done.
Building strong core muscles improve athletic performance by helping you stay stable when you’re doing activities like running, softball, golf or even bowling. A strong core will keep your form from breaking down when you get tired which can cause an injury.
Before doing these core exercises make sure to get a yoga mat or something that you can lay on that won’t cause rug burn.
Here is our list of core workouts at home.
The plank is one of my favorite core exercises and one of my least favorite because it’s hard. Planks work the inner core muscles isometrically (without movement). Isometrically working the core is important because it improves stability in the core. The plank is a great way to reduce or prevent lower back pain without causing more problems because there isn’t and movement during the exercise. The plank is a good foundational exercise before doing more advanced movements.
Here is a video on how to do the plank
Bicycle crunches work the rectus abdominis and external oblique. The bicycle crunch also works the rectus femoris which is the biggest quad muscle. Many other core exercises do not work the quad muscles at all.
This exercise also works the intercostal muscles which assist with breathing this can be beneficial to people that like to exercise.
Here is a video to teach you how to do the bicycle exercise.
V-ups are a wonderful core exercise that works the entire rectus abdominis (6-pack muscles). It’s an exercise that develops power in the core because when you come up you must use explosive force to reach the toes. To make the V-up harder try going slower on the downward motion. The V-up is an advanced core exercise and you may have to work up to it.
Here is a video on how to do the V-up
Doing the side plank is like the standard plank but it focuses on the side of the core. The main muscles worked in the side plank are the transversus abdominis, internal and exernal obliques, gluteus medius and minimus. The side plank helps improve spinal stability and make help reduce back pain. You can hold side planks isometrically or do them as reps.
Here is a video on how to do the side plank
Plank with Shoulder Tap
Plank with shoulder tap is a great core workout because it requires your body to stabilize every time you lift your arm. This is a good functional core workout because it works the entire core as well as increasing the heart rate. The plank with shoulder tap is good for improving spinal stability without much risk of injury.
Here is a video showing how to do the plank with shoulder tap.
Flutter kicks are a good part of any core workout at home because you don’t need any equipment to get them done. Flutter kicks work the rectus abdominis one side at time as well as the quads and hip flexors. Flutter kicks give you a nice lower body workout with the core.
Here is a video showing how to do flutter kicks.
Plank with Leg Lift
Adding a leg lift with the plank is a great way to make the plank harder. The exercise works all the same muscles as the standard plank but also works the glutes and hamstrings. The plank with leg lift makes the plank seem easier sometimes because you’re not focused on the time but the reps. The burn from the exercise moves rather than staying in the same place.
Here is a video showing how to do the plank with leg lift.
The superman exercise works the back of the core with a focus on the lower back. You’ll also get some work in the glutes and hamstrings from the exercise. Doing the superman will help build lower back strength and complements all the other core exercises listed above.
Here is a video showing how to do the superman
How to use these Core Exercises
If you want to add some of these core exercises you’ll need to add some rep ranges and sets. I would do 3-4 core exercises at the end of a workout. Here is an example of how set up your core exercises.
Plank 3x 30-45 seconds
V-up 3×10 reps
Bicycle crunches 3×15 per side
Plank with leg lift 3×10 per side
Plank with shoulder tap 3×15 per side
Flutter Kicks 3×15 per leg or 3×45 seconds
Side plank 3×10 or 3×30 seconds per side
Doing core exercises a couple times a week can help improve posture, reduce lower back pain and make you a better athlete. Working out your core won’t make you lose belly fat by itself but with a proper diet and exercise you can see improvements in belly fat. You can do core workouts without a gym membership and without any equipment.
Check out our blog on how to workout your legs from home.