Must Knows for Working Out Your Core

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

You might recall from reading previous articles, like “Yoga- At the Core”, that there are many benefits to working out your core, such as:

  • Better posture
  • Greater efficiency and gracefulness in your movements
  • Greater physical strength
  • Reduced risk of injury and muscle pain

That being said, let’s take a look at how to work out each part of your core.

You can focus on working your entire core by choosing a couple of exercises from each category listed below.

Switch them up for each workout so you don’t get bored!

  • Rectus Abdominis (category):  This is your “six pack” which is made up of your upper and lower abdominals.  Don’t forget to work out both!

Try the Bend and Hold:

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  2. Lift your left knee to your chest and hold. 
  3. Slowly switch legs and hold.
  • Obliques:  These muscles twist your both at the waist and straighten your torso when it’s bent to the side.  Your obliques are important for many sports and activities that involve twisting, like gold and tennis.

Try the Full Side Plank: 

  1. Stack heels, hips, and shoulders on top of one another.
  2. Push down with your left arm lifting your hips up to form a straight line from heel to head.
  3. Raise your right arm directly above you or bend gently behind your back.
  4. Gaze forward or up to top hand.
  5. Repeat on other side.
  • Spinal Erectors:  These are the muscles in your lower back that straighten your body when it’s bent forward at the waist.  You want to strengthen these muscles to protect your spine.

Try the Boat and Hold Variation: 

  1. From a sitting position on the floor, contract your abs to lift both legs into a V position.
  2. Keep your legs straight and strong.
  3. Extend your arms so they are straight above your head.


When doing any core exercise, consider the following advice regarding repetition amounts: If you are not feeling anything, opt for more.  If you cannot finish with good form, cut back a little.  It is more beneficial to do strong, controlled movements with appropriate form than to blaze through 25 repetitions.


TIP:  Check out Shannon Miller’s Abs To-Go for more core exercises and make your (whole) core a priority this week!

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