In the pursuit of physical fitness and strength, we often focus on sculpting our arms, legs, and chest. However, one crucial area that tends to be overlooked is the core. Hidden beneath the surface, the core muscles play a vital role in maintaining stability, balance, and overall body strength. Here, we share three new core exercises for you to try, alongside the coaching cues that will get you executing perfectly. From enhancing athletic performance to preventing injuries and improving posture, it’s all to play for.
Hanging Knee Raises
Hanging knee raises are an effective core exercise that targets the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors simultaneously. By engaging these muscle groups, hanging knee raises help strengthen the core, while improving your stability.
1) Grip the bar with an overhand grip, squeeze your shoulder blades back and down in a reverse shrug.
2) Contract your abs and drive your knees towards your chest.
3) From there, use your abs to control your legs back to the start position and repeat for the designated number of sets and reps.
Bilateral Kettlebell Overhead Carry
Carrying kettlebells overhead builds shoulder stability, core strength, and grip endurance in one fell swoop. This exercise also improves overall posture and enhances functional strength, making it a valuable addition to any strength training or fitness routine.
1) Clean your kettlebells up into a front rack position.
2) Brace your core and jerk both kettlebells up overhead and lock out your arms so that your biceps are next to your ears.
3) Keeping your core tight and rib cage down, take small steps forward for designated distance, then repeat.
Slider Plank Drags
Engaging the abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back, slider plank drags teach you — quickly! — to stabilise your body as you move through the exercise. You’ll also improve your balance and control, which has plenty of carryover.
1) Start in a high plank position forming a straight line from head to toe, your shoulders stacked directly above your wrists and a slider under each foot.
2) Brace your core and push the floor away from you.
3) Put one hand in front of the other to drag yourself forwards.
4) Repeat for the designated distance or time period.