Advertising
Advertising

8 Core Workouts For The Attractive Body Shape

8 Core Workouts For The Attractive Body Shape

Other than having great toned abdominals that look good on the beach, having a strong core helps prevent injuries, as most movement starts at the centre and moves outwards. This means that if you have a strong core, it will ensure your general movements are strong and pain-free. A strong core helps to relieve back pain, as this pain is usually caused by a weak core.

Having a strong core will also help protect your organs since your core muscles surround these organs along with your nervous system. Strong muscles will allow vital organs, such as the heart, to work to their full capacity.

Core is important when it comes to posture. Having a strong core will allow you to stand, sit, walk, and run with the muscle support needed to maintain good posture and prevent back pain or difficulties.

With all these points in mind, here are 8 great core exercises that you can follow to get yourself on the road to a much-needed optimal core.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

Advertising

1. Plank

One of the best core exercises out there, the plank concentrates on the muscles running all the way through your body.

a22fd505_Core-Elbow-Plank.xxxlarge_2x
    image via popsugar.com
    1. Lie on your front and gently raise your body onto your elbows, making sure elbows are shoulder-width apart.
    2. Slowly raise yourself onto your tip toes and hold.
    3. Beginner: Try holding a plank for as long as possible. Aim for 30 seconds to a minute and increase this over each workout.
    4. Advanced: Once you’ve mastered a basic plank, try different plank variations, including side planks — these are great for challenging your core muscles.

    2. Side Jack Knife

    This exercise is great for your abs and will give you an effective workout for your core muscles. It really squeezes your obliques as you lift your legs.

    sidejacknife12x8__landscape
      image via menshealth.co.uk
      1. Lie on your side with your legs nearly straight and slightly raised off the floor.
      2. Lift your torso off the floor and keep your left forearm on the floor for balance. Hold your other hand behind your right ear, with your elbow pointing towards your feet.
      3. Lift your legs towards your torso while keeping your torso stationary. Feel the stretch on the side of your body and pause for a few seconds.
      4. Slowly lower your leg.
      5. Beginner: Repeat this for 3 sets of 10 reps before changing sides.
      6. Advanced: Try a more advanced version that gets you using both top and bottom abdominals at the same time.

      Advertising

      3. Squats

      Core workouts that include squats are essential. Not only do squats help with stability and mobility, they work the muscles through the entire body from the abdominals downwards, creating a great all-round optimal exercise.

      squats
        1. Start with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your back straight with shoulders pulled back, then straighten your arms out in front of you.
        2. Slowly bend your knees and push your butt out and down as though you’re about to sit down on a chair.
        3. Lower yourself so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, your knees are positioned slightly over your ankles, and your head and shoulders are aligned over your knees.
        4. Using your leg and butt muscles, slowly push up, keeping your weight evenly distributed throughout, and come back to a standing position.
        5. Beginner: start off with a repetition of 3 sets of 10 squats and increase the amount of squats in each set by 1 squat each day.
        6. Advanced: To make this move more difficult, add handheld weights, keeping them at your side throughout the exercise. Increase weights for more intensity.

        4. Arm, Leg, and Chest Raises

        This move really concentrates on your core muscles and allows them to work at their full potential.

        t-raise-e1453414140238
          image via positivemed.com
          1. Lie on the floor, face down with arms stretched out and legs straight.
          2. Slowly raise both arms up as far as you can and at the same time lift up both legs.
          3. Keep this position for a few seconds and then release your arms and legs back down to the floor.
          4. Beginner: Do 3 sets of 10 reps trying to increase the amount of time you’re engaging the core muscles.
          5. Advanced: Try adding a roll into the exercise by engaging the core on your front and then rolling carefully on to your back with legs and arms above you. This will work your core muscles even further.

          5. Quadruped

          This move tightens your abdominal muscles and improves balance.

          Advertising

          Quadruped
            image via popsugar.com
            1. Start on your hands and knees. Place your hands directly below your shoulders, align your head and neck with your back, and tighten your abdominal muscles.
            2. Raise your right arm off the floor and reach ahead. Stay in this position for 5 seconds. Lower your right arm and repeat with your left arm.
            3. Raise your right leg off the floor, making sure to use your muscles to maintain balance. Hold for 5 seconds and lower your leg to the floor. Repeat with the left leg.
            4. Beginner: Repeat full arm and leg movements 5 times each, raising the amount of time you hold positions to add a challenge.
            5. Advanced: Hold a weight in your hand for an added challenge or raise both the opposite arm and leg together to work the core muscles more.

            6. Abdominal Hold

            While it may be tough at first, this move will help you build strength in your core.

            abdominal-hold
              image via muscledose.com
              1. Make sure you have a sturdy chair.
              2. Sit tall on the edge of the chair and place your hands on the chair down beside you, holding on to the sides.
              3. Tighten your abs and gently lift your toes about 2-4 inches off the ground and lift your butt off the chair.
              4. Beginner: Hold this position for as long as you can — aim for 5 -10 seconds.
              5. Advanced: Try challenging yourself by holding for up to a minute or add a stable weight to your lap to create added resistance and work the abdominals even more.

              7. Side Crunches

              Side crunches as part of your core workouts are a good way of targeting your mid-section.

              jvjb5u20160227165722
                image via gym-inspiration.com
                1. Lie on your left side with your legs lying on top of each other.
                2. Bend your knees so that they are at a rough 90-degree angle.
                3. Begin by moving your right hand to your right ear with the elbow pointing up. Start to move up and over to the side slightly until you can feel the burn in your obliques. Repeat on opposite the side.
                4. Beginner: Do 10 reps 3 times on both sides, increasing as you feel ready to to keep your abs challenged.
                5. Advanced: Try these advanced side crunches to get an extra burn.

                8. Using a Stability Ball

                20100615-lose-last-10-pounds-8-600x411

                  Simple exercises using a stability ball can activate twice as many core muscles as classic belly toners like crunches and sit-ups, so it’s well worth investing one.

                  Advertising

                  For beginners, this core workout is a really great introduction to using a stability ball. Incorporate this into the rest of the workout or pick and choose certain exercises if you have time constraints:

                  This is great for more advanced stability ball exercises, working your core to the maximum:

                  Tips When Doing Your Core Workouts

                  • Write down a schedule of your workouts as this will help you to keep your motivation high. Start with a weekly or monthly timetable of each daily workout you do. Make sure you show exactly how many reps you will do for each exercise and show a progression throughout the week or month by adding weights and intensity.
                  • Be aware of your limits — if you feel pain at any stage, then stop the exercise immediately. Start easy and work your way up as this will make the workouts a lot more beneficial and will help you to avoid injuries.
                  • Always drink plenty of water when doing workouts as you can get easily dehydrated.
                  • Talk with your doctor if you suffer from back pain or are pregnant as these exercises may not be suitable.

                  More by this author

                  Jenny Marchal

                  Freelance Writer

                  How to Save a Bunch of Money Easily With This Simple Challenge Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset 11 Killer Ways To Get Rid Of Roaches Without Harming You If You Understand These 5 Rules In Psychology, You Can Live A Much Easier Life How To Get Over Someone You Deeply Love

                  Trending in Exercise

                  1 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 2 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 3 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 4 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox 5 How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on September 4, 2018

                  How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles Fast (What Works And What Doesn’t)

                  How to Get Rid of Sore Muscles Fast (What Works And What Doesn’t)

                  Avoiding sore muscles requires several commitments to your overall health and well-being. We’re going to examine several aspects of how to recover from workouts, and how to avoid sore muscles.

                  Avoiding sore muscles isn’t something you merely achieve through dietary habits; it requires dedication to the full recovery of your body by way of sleep, and pre-habilitation – the primitive rehabilitation of your body which is typically done as post workout stretching and mobility.

                  I would like to preface this article by saying that I’m an Ambassador for MobilityWOD – health and fitness organization founded by Dr. Kelly Starrett,[1] the author of NY Times Best Seller Becoming A Supple Leopard. That means I promote mobility and an overall top to bottom healthy lifestyle. I partnered with MobilityWOD because we share a common goal of helping people move better and live healthier, longer.

                  Sore muscles can occur in several ways that aren’t just exercise, such as illness or injury. We’re going to just focus on sore muscle recovery from exercise, however some of these remedies are applicable to the other aforementioned causes of sore muscles.

                  We’re going to cover quick fix remedies for sore muscles that you can apply immediately, as well as preventative things you can do to avoid sore muscles in the future. So let’s get to it!

                  What are sore muscles?

                  Sore muscles as a result of exercise, occur due to delayed-onset muscle soreness (or DOMS), which begins hours afterward and peaks (on average) around one to two days.

                  Generally, exercise scientists agree that people who experience muscle soreness are doing so as a result of muscle damage and rebuilding. Proteins exit the injured cells while fluid and white blood cells rush to rebuild.

                  Advertising

                  Over time, muscle cells are repaired and new cells are developed – all being injected with contractile proteins. Some or all of this process may be inexorably linked with muscle soreness.

                  How do muscles get sore?

                  There’s many fitness experts that I’ve encountered who preach they do not experience muscle soreness, and contrary to that many still do.

                  I’m of the belief that ‘newer lifters’ or those ‘new to exercise’ will experience soreness more dramatically when compared to those that have been working out for several years.

                  Now if you’re reading this and thinking “c’mon Adam, I’m going to experience muscle soreness more because I’m new to exercise?!?”, I get it you!

                  Here’s the upside, it’s because there’s SO much growth for you to do! Personally having been training for several years, I still notice sore muscles when working out muscle groups that I don’t normally, such as doing a day of just shoulder raises and presses (bodybuilding style) – I’ll feel the DOMs for sure.

                  However, if I do a heavy deadlift workout, generally I’ll avoid DOMs due to my recovery regimen (which I’ll share below) and because its an exercise I perform often.

                  Those that have been exercising for several years, and of course not including those that use steroids or other recovery substances, are close to/approaching their genetic potential in terms of muscle mass.

                  Advertising

                  There’s several online calculators for Lean Body Mass which can come close to revealing your genetic potential by measuring limb length, and bone density. I suggest a quick google search and use several to compare as they may vary slightly in result, however you can try Drug Free Muscle & Strength Potential calculator created by ‘Stronger by Science ‘.

                  Myths about sore muscles

                  There’re many myths to cover, but let’s quickly hit a few:

                  Myth #1: Leaving sore muscles to heal on their own is the best thing to do?

                  Common misconception! In fact it’s often a good idea to perform light exercise to aid in recovery by way of promoting blood and oxygen circulation to the muscles, and Synovial fluid within the joints.

                  Synovial Fluid – also known as synovia, is a viscous, non-Newtonian fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints. The principal purpose of synovial fluid is to reduce friction between the articular cartilage of synovial joints during movement.

                  Often if you leave sore muscles without doing mobility or stretching after training, you’ll end up shortening your range of motion (due to tightness) and healing those muscles in less than optimal positions (end-ranges of motion) and circumstances.

                  Myth #2: It’s a bad idea to workout with sore muscles?

                  Light exercise can actually help in recovery, but don’t go heavy or over-exert yourself as it can be counter productive.

                  Myth #3: Eating or protein shake immediately after a workout will prevent sore muscles?

                  This is ultimate bro-science, and though consuming a fast acting carb may help with muscle discomfort/aches after a workout, there’s nothing which directly proves that immediately consuming a protein shake after a workout will reduce muscle soreness or DOMs.

                  Advertising

                  Myth #4: DOMs have nothing to do with sleep?

                  The majority of muscle repair is done during REM sleep.

                  Myth #5: DOMs have nothing to do with gut health?

                  During deep sleep/REM sleep, the body heals and recovers muscles through the gastrointestinal tract, which directly correlates with GUT Health.

                  How to get rid of sore muscles fast

                  Here’s how you get rid of sore muscles quickly after exercise…

                  1. Refine what you eat

                  One important aspect of muscle recovery is quality protein.

                  Don’t go reaching for your synthetic, or all natural protein powders and expect to avoid sore muscles entirely. Aim high for quality sources of protein, and amino acid complexes that will put you on the path to muscle repair, rebuilding, and recovery.

                  Here’s some suggestions below for sources of protein.

                  • Meat – Various types of beef steaks
                  • Poltry – Chicken, pheasant, goose, turkey..etc
                  • Fish – Salmon, tilapia, cod, halibut, haddock..etc
                  • Hemp or pea protein – If you are deficient of hitting your macro nutrient requirements (typically 1g – 2g of protein per lb of body weight while recovering from exercise), then add a bit of these protein powder sources to your diet. Avoid whey protein, or isolate if you can, however if that’s all you have access to, it will suffice.

                  Checkout my recent article on Healthy Food to Gain Muscle.

                  Advertising

                  Try these anti inflammatory remedies:

                  • Krill Oil (suggested) or wild Alaskan salmon fish oil – The natural fatty acids and antioxidants are known to aid in pain relief. Krill oil will naturally help reduce inflammation and decrease pain within your joints, and in turn help recover muscles by improving overall circulation.
                  • Probiotic (supplement or natural plain greek yogurt such as kefir). Your gut health is important and reducing inflammation means less soreness!
                  • Hemp oil or CBD oil (non psychoactive). Excellent way to reduce potential inflammation and recover from muscle soreness quickly.
                  • Pain relief topical creams – There’s loads of options to choose from, and though many are not 100% proven, some have been said to be quite effective at temporarily mitigating pain from muscle soreness. These are a great quick fix if you want to reduce discomfort and ‘turn down’ before bed.[2]

                  2. Treat your body well

                  Besides refining your diet, you should do something about your body and muscle:

                  • Epsom salt bath with essential oils if you have them available.
                  • Compression lightly applied to promote warmth and blood flow – Don’t overdue it because you can stop circulation, which is the opposite of what we’re going for!
                  • Massage or acupuncture is something I’ve tried many times over and it has proven results by improving circulation and blood flow to the muscles to aid in recovery.
                  • Stretching and mobility is an absolute must! Pre-workout active mobility and foam rolling, followed by post workout static stretching. When you perform stretching and mobility you’re improving circulation and the end-range of those muscle groups by elongating them to their fullest. When your muscles are sore and tight, it’s often because they have been strained, damaged from training, and shortened as a result. We need to open up your range and elongate the muscles with stretching for optimal recovery.
                  • Light exercise and walking can be extremely effective for aiding in recovery by promoting circulation.

                  3. Have sufficient sleep

                  Sleeping is an absolute must for muscle recovery and to avoid muscle soreness! I cannot stress this enough! Please do yourself a favor and get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and 8-9 hours as needed on days when the workout was extra strenuous.

                  You do the majority of your muscle repair when the muscles shut down during heavy deep sleep states. Protein synthesis occurs under conditions of sleep but it occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, not the muscles. Research suggests that it’s during REM (Rapid Eye Movement: explained later) sleep that the body is able to: restore organs, bones, and tissue; replenish immune cells; and circulate human growth hormone.

                  Conclusion

                  Thought sore muscles aren’t something you can do away with entirely, and honestly who would want to? It tells you that your exercise efforts are not in vein!

                  If your muscles are sore, it means you’re putting them to work and they’re rebuilding and growing as we examined earlier.

                  No one wants to be completely frozen in soreness the day after training, so if you use these quick remedies for muscle soreness and preventative modalities, I’m confident you’ll be on track for sore muscle pain alleviation along with muscle and strength gains in no time!

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  Read Next