While there are tons of core exercises that are tried and true to hit those tough to reach areas of your stomach, they can often get repetitive, and doing the same ab routine over and over again won’t give your core the intensity it needs to keep adapting and keep getting stronger. Here are seven unusual ways to work out your core for a revitalized routine:
Start in a yoga plank position (the top of a pushup). From here, simultaneously step your right hand and right leg to the right. Be careful not to create too much impact, slow movement is key here. Repeat two more times. Then, repeat 3 times with your left side so that you are back where you started.
This move does wonders for core stability, and adds a new challenge to your standard plank.
Lie on your back and raise your legs and bend your knees so that your shins are parallel to the ground. While holding this position, raise your arms so that your arms are perpendicular to the ground. From here, simultaneously extend your right leg and extend your left arm behind you so that your leg and arm are both fully extended in opposite directions, just a few inches off other floor. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg and right arm.
Dead bugs are an unusual move but are great at strengthening your entire core and are a great way to workout your abs if you suffer from lower back pain. For an added challenge, put a pilate ball in between your thighs and arms and try to hold it up while performing the move.
Twisting Side Medicine Ball Wall Throws
Standing perpendicular to a wall holding a medicine ball about as high as your stomach, twist towards the wall by turning your hips and pivoting on your foot that is farthest away from the wall and throw the medicine ball at the wall, quickly catching it and repeating. Repeat on the other side.
This move promotes explosiveness as well as oblique and sport-specific core strength. These are great for golfers, tennis players, and any sport that involves the rotation of your trunk.
Single Sided Farmer’s Carry
Starting on your right side, hold one dumbbell that’s light to medium weight down at your side. Make sure to keep perfect posture and to not lean to the left side to compensate for the weight. Proper weight selection is key to be bale to maintain an upright posture. Walk for about ten steps, and then switch to the left side.
These carries are great for functional core strength (think about how you carry your grocery bags) that will make your core stable, strong, and help promote good posture.
Medicine Ball Side Step Up
Grab a standard medicine ball and stand perpendicular to a box that’s just under knee height. Place and hold the medicine ball on the shoulder that’s pointing away from the box, and step up onto the box using a sideways stepping motion with the opposite leg. Switch sides after completing the repetitions on the first leg.
Similar to the move above, this exercise helps promote core stability by asymmetrically loading your spine/core to ensure that you are able to maintain an upright posture by keeping your obliques and side body tight.
Lay on the floor on your stomach with your legs fully extended and your arms fully extended out in front of you. Without jerking your body, slowly lift your legs and arms/chest off the ground making a “superman” pose and hold for a few seconds, then repeat.
Your core doesn’t just refer to your abs. Your core wraps around the back of your body and into your glutes. This move helps strengthen both those areas for a well-rounded and strong core.
In an almost exact opposite movement to the superman, lay on your back. This time, lift your legs and arms/upper back off the ground to feel a contraction across the front of your abs and the tops of your thighs. Hold for a few seconds.
Paired with the superman, this move does wonders for your core at almost ever angle imaginable, with an emphasis on your midsection for maximum ab strengthening.