A strong core is absolutely essential – not only for athletes and sports performance, but for daily activities as well. Having a strong core to support you will most definitely stave off those lower back aches and pains, and will help you even when you have to be bound to a chair most of the day (been there!)
While cardio and nutrition are important to allowing your abdominal musculature to show, the cool part about ab exercises themselves is that they don’t have to take forever – they can also be done at the office or in the car (for example, as you are seated, think about pulling your navel to your spine. Hold that position and brace for a few seconds.)
One of my favorites is the ab vacuum – it can be done absolutely anywhere, at anytime. I sometimes forget to do it, but when I do, I ALWAYS see a huge difference. Yes, HUGE. I also try to sneak planks in, oblique twists, hanging leg raises, and certain types of crunches when I can. Planks are another one of those quick exercises that you can do during a tv commercial or any time you get up at home.
Here are some links to some of the exercises I do myself, and that have really helped to make a difference for me.
- AB VACCUM
- PLANK (there are TONS of variations out there, including side, which I love.)
- PIKE with stability ball
- FROG CRUNCH (I do a slight variation, keeping the “frog legs” and doing a reverse crunch in that position)
- SEATED BYCICLE
- RUSSIAN TWISTS
- HANGING LEG RAISES
I definitely do other exercises, but these are my more regular suspects. Give them a try and see what you think!