To be clear, there are no core exercises specific to women. While the exercises below are NOT specific to women, they are all great ways to work the core.
It’s important that we establish what “your core” is and what functionalities it has. Pinterest and fitpsos will have you thinking that your six pack is the most valuable part of your body. And the only important segment of your core. Hopefully this post changes that for you.
Your core is what connects your upper and lower body – think shoulder girdle to hip complex. It’s all the muscles that surround your organs, ribcage, all the way down to your hip bones (front, side and back). These muscles surround, mobilize and stabilize your spine.
The core exercises we cover today will mostly involve the following muscles:
Core work can involve:
👉Lateral flexion and extension
👉Abdominal and/or hip flexion
👉Anti-hip or abdominal flexion
We can have isometric moves (plank, hanging knee raise hold). We can anchor the upper body or the lower body (think toe to bar vs GHD sit up). Most of these examples work on keeping the pillar stable while the limbs move around it. Your core can do more than a plank or a sit up. Just as we move in multiple planes and angles for other muscle groups, the same can be done for your core.
Here is a list a 10 core exercises to try and implement into your training if you’re looking for more intentional core work outside of normal lifts. You could add these to your warm up or movement prep, or use a few to create a circuit at the end of a lift. Up to you.
In nearly all of these the goal is to keep the ribs stacked over the hips, and draw the belly button UP as you draw the front of your hip bones together (like your transverse abdominis is hugging you).
Do you do designated core work? Or no?
If you’d like to learn more about program design for strength, yes, and hypertrophy training over long term periodization, check out Pure PROgramming.
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