There are several benefits to maintaining excellent core strength. Not only can it provide a great looking midsection, a strong core prevents a myriad of health issues such as scoliosis, back pain, and bad balance. And in this sense, core strength takes on an even more important role in the long-term health of your body. Obtaining a strong abdomen can result from a regular routine of Pilates and yoga exercises, and some super simple moves you can do anytime of the day.
Perhaps one of the best Pilates exercises for the core is called The Hundred. Sounds ominous, right? It really isn’t once you start a regular routine. Begin by lying down on your mat and taking in a large amount of breath. As you exhale, bring your head and shoulders up off the mat so both arms are in line with your body, palms facing down. This automatically engages the core. Then, bring your feet up off the mat so that you are staring at your pointed toes. Now you are ready. While quickly inhaling and exhaling, beat your arms straight up and down while simultaneously pumping your legs. Do this for a count of a hundred, exhaling at the end.
Pilates and yoga exercises are probably the best ways to strengthen the core. With yoga, almost every asana requires firming this area. One of the best ways is to firm up with yoga is during the mat portion of the class. During this time, your body releases the weight of the legs and arms and requires core strength to stay supported. Perhaps the best include full boat pose and happy baby.
The plank is one of the best moves you can do to strengthen your middle. And, you can do it anywhere. Start your morning off by putting your body in traditional push up position. Make sure your shoulders are in line with your neck and do not reach past your hands. Place your feet together so that they touch and flex your core, thighs, and arms. Hold this position for as long as you can. At first, you may feel weak after only 10 seconds. Keep at it, and track your progress as you go. Try to get up to 1 whole minute two times per day.
Throughout your day there are several times to include a quick sit up motion to strengthen the abs. Whenever you’d like, suck your stomach in firming it so that you draw the belly button and ribs inward. Make it interesting by playing a game with yourself; for example, every time you are sitting at a red light, flex your midsection until the light turns green. Or, when you’re standing in line for coffee in the morning, or during the commercials of your favorite TV program. Replace your regular habits with core strengthening ones.