For those who spend long periods of time on their feet, sometimes bent over, building a strong, balanced core is important. The following exercises can help you strengthen your core. And, as luck would have it, you won’t need any equipment and you can do them in the comfort of your home or office.
Start one set of 12 repetitions of each of these exercises and work your way up to three sets as you progress. As is the case in any exercise program, take it slow and easy, get your form and movement first.
For this exercise lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing down on the floor. Draw your navel down toward the floor. Tilt your pelvis so your buttocks lift off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 12 times.
Side Leg Raise
Lie down on the floor on your side, one arm beneath you to support your torso holding yourself up at a 45° angle. Using your side abdominals, lift your top leg as far as you can but no more than 90°. Do this 12 times and switch sides.
Alternate Knee Tuck
Lie on your back with your arms on the ground, palms down and legs extended flat. Bend your right knee and bring it toward your chest. Then straighten the right knee and lower it is you bring your left knee toward your chest. The motion will look like you are pedaling a bicycle. Bring each knee to your chest 12 times.
Assume the standard push-up position, making sure your arms are straight and your hands are aligned directly underneath your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head. Pull your navel into your spine and hold the position for five seconds. Release fully and relax onto the floor. Repeat 12 times.
Single Leg Raise
Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms down and legs extended flat on the ground. Engage your abdominals, ensuring that your low back maintains contact with the ground and raise one leg off the ground at about a 45° angle. Lower it slowly and repeat with your other leg, raising and lowering each 12 times.
Double Leg Raise
Start in the same position as the last exercise – on your back with your arms at your sides, palms down and legs extended flat on the ground. In this exercise raise both legs at a 45° angle to the floor at the same time. Lower them to the floor slowly. Repeat 12 times.
Forearm Side Plank
Lie on your side, supporting your upper body with your forearm on the ground, perpendicular to your torso. Engage the side abdominals and lift your hips toward the ceiling, balancing on the outside edge of your bottom foot and forearm at the same time. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 12 times on each side.