Let’s talk about core power exercises. Being the central part of our body, the core is where the centre of gravity is located and the origin of movement. Whether you are an athlete, a fitness enthusiast or someone who wants to get in great shape, the core is something you should pay a lot of attention to.
Apart from being a base of the toned and good-looking body, a strong core is also essential for full body balance and good posture, as well as reduced low back pain.
Moreover, the abdominal area takes part in almost every activity of daily living, so even if you are not regularly working out, a strong and stable core is necessary to maintain overall body flexibility.
As the midsection is made of various muscles, the most efficient core exercises are those that involve the entire muscle group. So get fully informed about the different core parts and specific exercises for each area. This will prevent injuries and set you on the right track.
Today, we will cover all the important aspects of core power exercises and offers a safe training program to help you take the first steps of your fitness journey.
What Are Core Power Exercises?
There are, on the whole, 29 muscles connected to the core and each of them has certain roles depending on the kind of movement the body is doing.
To break it down, your core combines several muscle groups, including rectus abdominis (the abdominal muscles or abs), transverse abdominis (the internal core muscles around the spine and sides), erector spinae (on the lower back) and internal and external obliques (on the abdomen sides).
These muscles can be grouped into two main categories: movement muscles and stabilizing muscles. Obviously, some muscles may have complex roles and hence, execute multiple functions.
Based on research, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) confirms that knowing the muscle roles (whether they are movement-based or stabilization based) may be useful in designing a tailor-made fitness program.
Depending on these muscle functions, core exercises may be characterized as core stability exercises, core strength exercises and core power exercises.
The first one includes those moves that put some amount of stress on the spine and there is almost no spine movement involved. Once you find a neutral spine and learn to resist the gravity, your back will gradually become stronger.
The second part involves core strengthening process and will add some motion to the spine. Examples of such type of exercises may be side planks, band rotations, crunches, etc.
The final stage is about explosive core power exercises that will help to stabilize and generate force.
Moreover, many popular training programs such as HIIT, kickboxing, and others require a decent level of core power for a person to be able to participate.
Exercises for this type of training may be medicine ball (MB) lateral throw, rotational chess pass using the same tool, etc.
Core Power Exercise Benefits
Core power exercises are great for healthy weight loss and muscle building. This type of training will always keep your body in tone and maintain a slim figure.
Here are the most significant benefits of Core Power Exercises to consider:
Improved balance and stability
Core power exercises make all your core muscle groups work simultaneously, improving your balance and creating a perfect posture.
No equipment required
For some of the core exercises, you won’t need any equipment. These workout routines use mostly your body weight, so you can easily schedule your training at home, or wherever you wish.
Increased physical activity
Usually, people who lack some physical activity, suffer from back pain. Whereas, training your muscles will make you feel more energized and powerful, as well as will put you in a great mood after every workout.
Prevention of injuries
Since core power exercises target an entire muscle group and have a balanced impact on the body you will burn the undesirable calories with minimal injury risk.
Top #10 Core Power Exercises
When you decide to do core training, there will be thousands of exercises to choose from. You may discuss them with your trainer to come up with a personalized workout plan that will be suitable for you.
Here you can check out the top core exercises that can be done without any equipment anywhere you prefer.
Get ready to survive the longest minutes in your life by holding a plank. This simple exercise strengthens not only your core but also the works your glutes and hamstrings. Planks perfectly engage your entire body and improve body posture.
- Put the forearms on the floor, with the elbows underneath the shoulders, and hands facing forward with parallel arms.
- Extend your legs and go up on toes. The body position must be like a straight line from the shoulders to the heels.
- Squeeze your glutes, and quads by tucking the butt under to keep the lower back straight. Don’t hold the butt up or drop the hips.
- Your neck should be in a neutral position. Remember to keep your eyes on your hands.
- Hold the plank for as long as you can.
2. Panther Shoulder Tap
Thanks to this exercise you will not only challenge your core and its various muscle groups but will also say goodbye to your midsection fat forever.
- You start on all fours.
- Keep the back flat and tuck your butt under. Put your knees up from the floor by approximately 1-3 inches. You should look at your hands to avoid putting pressure on your neck.
- Touch the left shoulder with your right hand, and alternate with the opposite hand and shoulder. Use the core strength to keep the hips stable.
- Continue the exercise circuit.
3. Butterfly Sit-up
The butterfly position effectively shapes strong core muscles. Butterfly sit-up is great for group training sessions and may be performed by beginners as well.
- The initial stage is lying down with your knees bent on the sides and your feet soles together.
- Tighten up your core muscles to raise your body up to a sitting position. Then, reach forward to touch the toes.
- Go back to the initial position and repeat the move.
4. Dead Bug
Even if you don’t feel the burn, your deep core muscles will definitely feel the exercise effect.
- Lie on your back with your hands extended towards the ceiling and knees bent 90 degrees (tabletop position).
- Right leg and left arm go out, and you use your core to keep them a few inches above the floor.
- Bring back to the initial position and alternate with the opposite leg and opposite arm.
5. High Boat to Low Boat
High Boat to low boat core exercise is a challenging exercise for fitness enthusiasts. This move works the rectus abdominis, hip flexors and erector spinae.
- Sit up straight with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor.
- Raise your legs together from the floor to form a 45-degree angle to the torso. While engaging the entire core, hold the back flat.
- The modified version is bending the knees if keeping them straight is too challenging for you.
- Raise the arms straight in front of you parallel to the floor. If you need support you can put your hands on the floor, underneath the hips.
- This is called the high boat position and you need to hold here for three deep breaths.
- Then slowly lower the legs by straightening them out and lower your upper body. Don’t touch your shoulder blades to the floor however, keep them a few inches high.
- Now you are in low boat position. Hold for one breath, then raise the legs and the torso up to High boat.
This exercise has a striking effect on your body by targeting every core muscle as you try to stay stabilized while performing it.
- Lie on your back with your legs and arms extended. Hold the arms close to the ears. Keep the low back on the ground. This is how you start.
- With pointing toes, squeeze the glutes and the thighs together to lift your legs and shoulders off the ground. In other words, your body comes into a “V” position.
- Slowly lower your shoulders to go back to the initial position.
7. Body Saw
The main advantage of this exercise is pretty clear: it improves the core strength and stability simultaneously.
- Start in a plank position keeping the forearms on the floor and toes on the gliders (or use a simple towel). Elbows must be right underneath the shoulders, hands facing forward, and your legs extended behind you. Tuck the butt and engage the core and quads. This is the initial stage.
- Gently push with the forearms and elbows to slide the gliders (or towel) back toward the wall behind you. Go as far as you can without relaxing your core. Don’t let the hips go down.
- Return to the initial position by pulling with your arms and elbows.
8. Rolling Like a Ball
Rolling Like a Ball can be a fun exercise if you want to strengthen your core and do a cardio move at the same time.
- Sit up and bend your knees keeping the feet flat on the floor. Hug the knees with your arms and curl the head and chest toward the knees.
- By scooping the core, roll the body back until the shoulders touch the ground but don’t get too far as your neck and head should stay above the ground.
- Go back up to the sitting position then repeat.
9. Side Bend
This great exercise can be done anywhere: at home, in your hotel room, etc. You will activate deep core muscles, and of course, the obliques. Plus, your arms and back will get to do some work here as well.
- You start with the side plank position by putting the right hand directly underneath the right shoulder. Your left foot should be stacked on the right foot. Hold your feet straight.
- Engage the core and butt to initiate the movement.
- Lower the hips towards the ground and raise them up again.
- Repeat the move several times on one side then do the same exercise for the other.
10. Hip Dip
If you want to work out like a pro, then you will need to try this exercise targeting the obliques and abs.
- Stand in a plank position with your forearms underneath the shoulders. Extend your legs behind and engage the core, butt, and quads.
- Drop the hip on to the left side until it touches the floor. Repeat the same for the right side.
- Alternate the sides.
Although these are excellent exercises for shaping the long-awaited six-packs, you might also want to adjust your diet to faster reach your fitness goal. If no specific diet comes to your mind, check out our helpful article on Intermittent Dry Fasting | Beginner’s Guide, to give you an accurate insight into this practical fasting method.
Core Stability Exercises
If you want to build core power then you will need to start with stabilization exercises. As mentioned before, these moves include very little spine movement, which helps you get prepared for more challenging core training phases.
However, don’t think that stability exercises will be super easy to do. To get effective results you will need to perform these moves correctly.
Here are several recommended stabilization exercises to show you how these moves are done.
Paused Rotational Plank
Floor Prone Cobra
Advanced Core Exercises for Athletes
Athletes also need powerful core exercises to keep their bodies in great shape. When your muscles are used to challenging workout programs, average core exercises might not be sufficient to provide the usual core burn.
Advanced core exercises are those that work the entire core and are performed 3-5 times a week. Don’t attempt any advanced level exercises if you are a beginner. These tough core power exercises require flexibility, endurance and muscular strength.
Fortunately, there are ways to boost the recovery process and help to build muscles faster. In fact, many athletes use BCAA supplements to reduce fatigue during tiring workouts. Here is a complete review on BCAA For Weight Loss | Ultimate Guide that will cover all the questions.
If you think you are ready for advanced core exercises, here are some great examples:
Alternating Shoulder Tap Plank
Core power exercises are a great way to improve your body structure. However, before any training, it will be better to be fully informed about both the benefits and risks of the practice.
To stay injury-free during your workout, there are several useful tips to consider:
Do a proper warm-up and cool down
The most essential part of every fitness program is a proper warm-up, cool down and stretch. This way your muscles will be ready for the moves.
Make sure your body is ready
If you have some back problems or past injuries, you might want to skip the advanced level exercises and opt for milder versions. Health is always a priority.
Start with core stability exercises
Core stability exercises provide a solid base for more powerful moves. Make sure you master stabilization exercises first and you’ll be ready for power exercises sooner.