What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of core exercises? Sit-ups? Crunches? Maybe it’s just general ab workouts. If that’s all you do, then it’s time to start getting more creative with your exercise routines and check out these great tips to strengthen your core.
1. Become coordinative by practicing balance moves on your own.
If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau at the gym, try adding balance moves to your workout routine. Stand on one foot and hold this position as long as possible or remain in the center of an exercise ball and try not to fall off for five minutes. The next time you go to the gym, try these exercises along with your regular workout: lunge with a twist, plank, bird dog (on all fours) and leg lifts.
2. Go for a run — just not on the treadmill.
You probably want to get in the best shape of your life, but you also don’t want to spend hours on a treadmill every day. Fortunately, running can be a form of weight training. You can also incorporate strength moves into your run routine by holding a mini-band between your hands or knees as you jog.
3. Grab some help from a friend or family member.
You’ll have more energy and focus when working out with a partner — especially someone who has the same goals as you do and is willing to go “as far as you can take it” during practice runs and workouts. A good partner can motivate you to push yourself harder and reach higher.
4. Mix up your workout routines.
If you find yourself plateauing at the gym, try changing your routine and increase your reps or add more weight when performing certain lifts — especially when working on a specific muscle group. By doing that, you’ll make sure your muscles are using all of their energy, even if you’re working with light weights for long periods of time. This will definitely make the time you’re spending at the gym worthwhile.
5. Do extra core training at home.
If you don’t have access to a full-length gym, doing your core exercises at home is a great alternative. You can use a stability ball, balance board or exercise bands to perform moves that will strengthen your core even more.