7 Best Flexibility and Core Exercises to Strengthen Your Body

Core exercises to improve strength and flexibility. (Image via Pexels/Photo by Li Sun)
Core exercises to improve strength and flexibility. (Image via Pexels/Photo by Li Sun)

The best way to improve stability and balance is to incorporate core exercises into your workout routine. Sufficient core strength helps with every exercise considering almost all exercises require you to engage your core.

Core exercises usually work on specific parts of the muscle group but also have an impact on the others. However, there’s almost always a primary and a secondary muscle group.

Here are some core exercises you should consider incorporating into your workout routine:

1) Plank

The plank is one exercise that works on the entire core muscle. It focuses on the abdominal muscles along with the obliques. Additionally, it helps in strengthening your spine and improving your overall posture.

You can start with shoulder planks and move your way up to elbow planks, and then variations of the same.


2) Side plank

Side plank is a variation of the plank but it focuses quite a bit on the obliques. When you incorporate side planks into your workout routine, make sure that you have proper balance throughout.

If you loosen your core or don’t have steady footing, you could fall over. To maintain a better balance, raise your free arm and extend it upwards.


3) V-sits

V-sits are core exercises that work on your obliques and help with strengthening your hips. In fact, if your hips are strong, you’ll be able to improve your flexibility as well.

Moreover, strong hips help with compound movements such as deadlifts and bent-over rows. You should incorporate it into your workout routine, but avoid doing it every day.


4) Push-ups

Undoubtedly, push-ups are a great bodyweight exercise that help with developing chest muscles and triceps and focus on strengthening the abdominal muscles. Ideally, you should keep your core engaged during push-ups. However, there can be times you’ll lose form because of fatigued muscles, but try avoiding doing too many reps in that posture.

5) Dead bug

The dead bug exercise helps with coordination, focus, and core strength. However, it may take some time for you to master the exercise. If you’re going to make this a part of your core routine, you shouldn’t try to go too fast. It’s best to understand exactly how the exercise works before moving up the pace.

6) Russian twist

This is another core exercise that works on the obliques. You can do this with or without weights. The most advanced variation of this workout is to have your heels slightly lifted off the floor while you do the twist. This engages the core muscles further and massively improves your balance and stability.


7) Woodchop

This is another core exercise that works on the obliques, but it improves flexibility as well. On top of that, this is one of the core exercises that work on your shoulders and lower body as well. If you incorporate this into your workout routine, it can be done as a superset with other exercises such as seated twists, side bends, or even normal crunches.


Bottom line

There are several variations of the above exercises that you can do to improve your flexibility and core strength. However, you have to master the basics first before moving to advanced variations. Reason being - when you start doing advanced movements, it puts additional pressure on your abdominal muscles. However, if your muscles aren’t prepared to take on that extra resistance, you can end up with muscle pulls and muscle cramps.

Keeping that aside, always warm-up before and cool-down after doing core exercises. It’s important to allow your core muscles to relax from the stress before you continue with other exercises or leave the gym.

Finally, hydration is of utmost importance during core routines. The more you hydrate yourself, the better it is for your muscles and their recovery process!

Edited by Sabine Algur
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