As we age, our bodies have a higher tendency of losing strength and mobility. This is why the risk of falling, broken bones, injuries, and fractures is higher in older adults and elderly. Aging is also associated with weaker core muscles. The core is pivotal for proper support of the whole body and we need to perform the right exercises to keep it strong and prevent the above-mentioned problems as we age.
With this in mind, the focus of today’s article will be to present 6 simple, yet very powerful exercises that are excellent for women who want/need to strengthen their core. By strengthening your core, you are strengthening the whole body. As a result, the shaping and forming of other muscles will be much easier.
Core Muscles vs. Abdominal Muscles
By focusing on the abdominal area, you will engage only a couple of front-facing muscles. They may look good when you are in a bikini or wearing a tight T-shirt, but they will not help you acquire the necessary strength and mobility. On the other hand, by focusing your workout on the core muscles, you engage all of the muscles, including the abdominal ones.
The core muscles are the pelvic floor, hip muscles,back glutes, lower back muscles, front abdominal muscles, and diaphragm top muscle. Make sure your exercises target these sections of the body and you will gradually increase your core strength.
Check out our 6 best exercise suggestions below…
6 Useful Exercises for a Strong Core
- Front toe drops
Remember to breathe deeply and draw the belly in while performing the exercise. Lie down gently on the floor and bring the arms along the body. Pull the shoulders back and bring the legs up into a tabletop position. Lower the lower back onto the floor. The knees need to be directly over the hips and the feet are in line with your knees. Inhale and lower the right leg down. Keep the knee at 90 degrees all the time. Just slightly touch the floor with the toes. Exhale and bring the leg back. Do the same with the other one. For additional effort, do the same, but use the two legs at onetime. Perform the exercise for a minute.
This exercise will strengthen the core, the glutes, as well as the lower back. Lie down on the floor with the feet hip-width apart and bent. Press the lower back onto the floor while the arms are along your sides. Pull the shoulders back and anchor the body. Breathe in and breathe out and begin lifting up from the tailbone, one vertebra at a time. Lift the hips as much as you can. Squeeze the glutes and inhale on the top. Breathe out and imprint one vertebra at a time until you reach the floor. Continue doing the exercise until you feel a burn in the glutes. Relax when you are done and bring the knees towards the chest to relax. Hold them gently with your arms.
- Straight leg drops
Excellent exercise for the obliques and transverse abs. Lie down on the floor with the arms alongside the body and shoulders pushed back. Then, life the legs straight up and focus on strengthening the knees as much as you can. Lower back needs to be on the mat. Breathe in and lower one leg. Breathe out and bring it back again. Make sure the lower back is engaged. You can place the hands underneath the hips for modified version. Repeat the same with the other leg.
- Four point balance
Come down on the floor with the hands underneath the shoulders and knees under the hips, i.e. in a strong tabletop position. Then,take the left arm and right leg out. Lengthen through the crown of the head. Keep the head in line with the leg. Come down slowly. Repeat the same with the other arm and leg. Bring out the arm and leg diagonally if you want to try a modified version.
- Hip circles
Come down on the forearms. Draw the belly in and keep the posture lifted through the chest. Keep the shoulder blades back. Extend the legs up into the air with the heels together and the toes apart in a V-like position. Squeeze the inner thighs and begin circling on one side inhale and then exhale and bring the legs up to the center. Then, reverse. Pause before you begin a circle. Do not slouch and make sure you keep your upper body part engaged too.
- Side knee drops
Come down to the floor with the arms out in a T-like form and the legs up in a tabletop position. Press the lower back towards the floor. Lower the knees on one side and inhale and then exhale and draw the knees to the center. Breathe in and do the same on the other side. Do not touch the flour with the knees. For a more challenging exercise, lift up and straighten the arms while moving the knees. Keep the shoulders on the floor.