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Core Exercises at Home

Doing core exercises helps in strengthening the core muscles. To do them, you need not necessarily hop into a gym close by. Scroll down to know, the exercises which you can do at home to work your core.
When we talk about the core, very often it is confused with the abdominal muscles. No, the core muscles are much more than just the abdominal muscles, although the abdominal muscles are a part of core muscles. Therefore, do not equate the core exercises with the abdominal exercises, although some abdominal exercises are a part of the core exercises as well. The core of the body is where all the functioning of the body. Apart from the brain and heart, all the important organs are located in the core region. The body's core is the area around the trunk and the pelvis. It is in the core where the center of gravity of the body is located. Hence, when we have to do the core exercises, it is important, we look at it as overall fitness of the training.

Best Core Exercises at Home

Core exercises help to strengthen the abdominal muscles, back muscles and pelvis. Strong core muscles bring better stability to the body. When you do these exercises, make sure you breathe well. If you do not breathe it will tire you out faster and you will not be able to do all the exercises well. When you are doing the core exercises, make it a point to use a mat for the exercises. The mat will give you better grip, when you do the core exercises.

Plank Pose
This is one of the best exercise, which will help in stabilization. To do the exercise, lie down on the floor, with your forehead on the floor. Extend your legs out straight, place the palms of the hands on the floor, such that your shoulders should be placed exactly above your hands. Slowly lift your shoulders, chest, waist and thighs off the floor to form a straight line. When you come into the position, your abs and gluteal muscles should be pulled in. Hold the position for a few seconds, before you release.

Dolphin Pose
Come into a downward facing dog, but with your forearms on the floors. The distance between your elbows should be as wide as your shoulders. Interlace the fingers, lift up your buttocks and straighten your legs. The starting position will look as though you are standing into an inverted 'V', with your heads between your hands and looking at your feet. Look up in front of you and move your body forward such that you come into a plank position and your chin is placed exactly above your hands with your toes curled under. Slowly come back to the starting position and repeat the core exercise for men and women 10 to 12 times.

Leg Lifts
This is a great core exercises for women as well as men. Lie with your back on the mat. Extend your legs out straight and place your hands next to your buttocks. Slowly lift both your legs up, till they form a right angle with the floor. Gradually bring your leg down, about 6 to 8 inches off the floor. This is one repetition. Now lift your legs up again to finish 10 repetitions.

Bridge Pose
This is a compound core strengthening exercise, which works not only the core, but also the thighs and buttocks. Sit on the mat with your palms placed flat on the mat behind you, such that the hands are located exactly below the shoulders and feet placed at a little distance away from the body. Exhale, as you straighten your arms and lift your buttocks off the floor, till your torso is parallel to the floor. Slowly come back to the starting position and repeat the exercise. When you are doing this exercise, make sure you keep the gluteal muscles squeezed and do not forget to tuck your tailbone in. At the same time, tighten your abs, which will give better strength and stability to the body. When your torso is parallel to the floor, your knees should be bent at an angle of 90 degrees.

Superman
This is a simple core exercises for seniors and youngsters as well. This core exercise can done standing as well as lying on the floor. We will see, how to do the exercise lying on the floor. Lie on the floor with your forehead touching the floor. Extend your hands above your head and straighten your legs as well. Gradually lift both your hands and legs off the floor. Hold for a couple of seconds before you release. When you are doing this exercise, make it a point not to be very adventurous. Lift your hands and legs only so much as you can bear.

There are core exercises with medicinal ball as well, but it is better to do them in front of a fitness trainer. Before you do the core exercises at home, make sure you do some warm up exercises as well. You can choose to do some cardiovascular exercises of your choice. If you suffer from any health ailments, then talk to your health care professional before you start doing the exercise.
By Bhakti Satalkar
Published: 8/30/2010
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