If you want to strengthen your core and improve your posture, it’s important to know how to do so properly and what exercises will be most effective. Although exercises like sit-ups can tone your muscles, they’re not necessarily the best way to strengthen your core or correct poor posture—and doing them improperly can actually do more harm than good. For an effective core workout, try one of these 5 exercises to strengthen your core and improve posture that you should do at least twice per week.
Before doing any exercises, you need to know how to stabilize your core. The plank exercise is a great way to strengthen your core and improve posture because it engages all of your abdominal muscles.
Start by getting into push-up position with both hands and toes on the floor. Now, lower yourself down so that your elbows are beneath your shoulders. You should feel a good stretch in your chest, abdomen and legs as well as tightness in your upper back and lats. Hold for 10 seconds at first, gradually increasing up to 60 seconds per set.
Side plank exercises
Planks are one of those exercises that always gets a shout-out for being an amazing core exercise. Lie on your side with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor in front of you. Push yourself up onto your forearms, balancing all of your weight on them as you raise your hips into a plank position. The goal is to have a perfectly straight line between your head, neck, shoulders, back legs and arms. Then slowly lower yourself down again to return to starting position before repeating on both sides.
For a more challenging variation try rotating your torso under.
Reverse plank exercises
The reverse plank exercise is a great way to strengthen your core, improve posture and provide stability for your back. The move helps build abdominal muscles and improves your ability to maintain proper form. It can also help you avoid back pain caused by sitting in front of a computer for too long without interruption.
To perform a reverse plank, you’ll need an exercise mat or soft surface like grass or carpeting. Start on all fours with your body in a straight line from head to toe. Lift up one arm off of the floor while balancing on your toes and knee that are firmly planted on the ground (keep them close together). Keep your other arm extended out in front of you for balance and use it as needed.
Cat cow exercise
The cat and cow pose is a yoga exercise that stretches and massages your back, shoulders, chest, stomach, hip flexors and thighs. It also strengthens your arms and legs. As it’s an intermediate yoga pose, you should only do it once you have mastered some of your other poses such as downward facing dog or tree pose.
Step by step instructions on doing the cat cow pose
- Get into a tabletop position with your arms, knees and feet touching the floor. The tops of your feet should be flat against each other and your hips in line with your shoulders and knees. If you want to give yourself a challenge, lift one leg up as high as you can go while keeping both hips in line with your shoulders. Repeat with each leg 20 times over five repetitions before moving onto to Cow Pose.
- Lift both arms up above your head, inhale deeply through your nose and exhale out of your mouth making a moo sound throughout this entire exercise.
Another great exercise for strengthening your core, chest, and arms is push-ups. The standard style of push-up does a good job of working all these muscle groups, but if you’re looking to kick things up a notch—and maybe even improve your form—try one of these two variations. For each variation below, try three sets of 15 repetitions twice a week with a day or two in between each session. You can also make sure you have proper form by checking out YouTube or reading fitness blogs that go over proper technique.
The diamond push-up works your upper body and core by making your form more difficult. Start in a standard push-up position, with arms directly under your shoulders and legs extended behind you, toes on floor. As you lower into your push-ups, slowly rotate your body to make a triangle shape with hands and feet on floor. Straighten back up as you come up from each push-up. You can make these even harder by performing them on a slightly elevated surface—for example, by placing one foot on a bench or chair while doing a set of diamond push-ups with one hand balanced on another chair or bench instead of keeping both hands down at all times.
Hand walk push-ups
Hand walk push-ups If you’re looking for an even bigger core challenge, hand walk push-ups are a great variation to try. To do these, start in a standard push-up position with your hands on floor directly under your shoulders and legs extended behind you, toes on floor. Once you lower into a push-up, lift one leg off ground by balancing on your hands as you lower into each rep. As you raise back up from each push-up, bring that leg back down to meet your other foot and set it down in between your hands again.
A strong core is one of the keys to good posture. There are exercises that you can do each day to strengthen your core and improve your posture.
In this post, we’ve taken a look at 5 exercises and certain variations to help you get started. If you’d like to find out more about exercising then be sure to enrol in our online course to learn how to build effective workout programs.
If you have any further questions, don;t forget to leave a comment!