Beginner Core Strength
These four basic exercises will strengthen core muscles and improve your posture.
1. Prone Core Bridge
Lay on the floor on your stomach. Lift your body off the ground, supporting your upper body with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your forearms flat on the ground. Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your heels and hold for 30 seconds. Work up to holding for 60 seconds or longer.
2. Side Plank
Lie on your left side with your legs, hips, and shoulders in a straight line. Prop yourself up on your left forearm so your elbow is directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips off the floor to create a straight line running from your right shoulder down to your right ankle. Place your top arm along your side. Hold the position for 30 seconds, then lower your hip to the ground. Switch sides and repeat. Work up to holding for 60 seconds or longer.
3. Elbow-to-Knee Twisting Crunch (or Bicycle Crunch)
Start out on the floor, on your back, with your knees raised and your hands interlaced behind your head/neck. Curl your left elbow toward your right knee, bringing them together over the center of your body. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right elbow toward your left knee. Continue alternating nonstop for one minute.
4. Reverse Crunch
Start out on the floor, lying on your back with your arms by your sides. In one smooth motion, bring your feet up off the floor and crunch your knees toward your chest while pressing your hands into the floor. Crunch far enough to raise your hips off the floor. Lower your hips back to the floor and uncurl your legs until they are straight, with your feet one or two inches above the floor. Repeat nonstop for one minute.
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