Last Updated on January 30, 2024
The 12 deep core exercises I’m sharing help tighten and tone the abs, shrink the waistline, and support the back and pelvic floor. How’s that for results?
A deep core exercise typically refers to an exercise that targets the muscles of the deep core, which includes muscles such as the transversus abdominis, pelvic floor muscles, and multifidus. These muscles play a crucial role in providing stability and support to the spine, pelvis, and surrounding structures. That’s also what makes deep core exercises so great for your back and tend to give better results compared to ab exercises that work superficially.
Deep core exercises focus on activating these deeper muscles rather than just the superficial ones… which means tighter, toned abs and a smaller waistline for you. But a smaller waistline isn’t the only benefit you’ll get from deep core exercises… Keep reading!
DEEP CORE EXERCISE BENEFITS
Training the deep core muscles is important for several reasons:
Stability and Support: Deep core muscles provide stability and support to the spine, pelvis, and surrounding structures. A strong and stable core helps maintain proper alignment and reduces the risk of injury during any type of movement.
Improved Posture: Strong deep core muscles contribute to better posture. They help support the spine and pelvis in their natural alignment, reducing the likelihood of slouching or poor posture that can lead to musculoskeletal issues.
Spinal Protection: The deep core muscles, particularly the multifidus and transversus abdominis, play a crucial role in protecting the spine. They act as a natural corset, providing support and stability to the spinal column and helping to prevent back pain.
Enhanced Functional Movement: A strong core is essential for various daily activities and functional movements. Whether you’re lifting, bending, twisting, or reaching, a well-trained core ensures efficient and coordinated movement patterns.
Balance and Coordination: Core strength contributes to better balance and coordination. This is particularly important in activities that involve dynamic movements or changes in body position.
Injury Prevention: Weakness in the core muscles can lead to an increased risk of injuries, especially in the lower back. By training the deep core muscles, you can reduce the strain on the spine and decrease the likelihood of injuries related to poor core stability.
Pelvic Floor Health: The deep core includes the pelvic floor muscles, which are vital for maintaining pelvic stability and supporting organs in the pelvic region. Training these muscles can be beneficial for pelvic floor health, especially in women.
Rehabilitation: In rehabilitation settings, deep core exercises are often prescribed to address and prevent issues such as lower back pain. Strengthening the core can be part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program.
Overall Fitness and Well-being: A well-conditioned core is essential for overall physical fitness and well-being. It can improve your ability to engage in various physical activities and enhance the quality of your movements.
Below you’ll find 12 of the best deep core exercises for flat, toned abs and a strong back and pelvic floor.
ELBOWS TO PALMS PLANK
Start in a plank position. Start by lowering onto your elbow and forearm on one side. Then lower down to your elbow and forearm on the other side until you’re in a modified (on-forearm plank). Quickly push back up to the start position one side at a time. Alternate lowering sides down to your forearms and back up into an on-palm plank until you feel the burn. Once you feel the burn, do 5 more and stop.
Lay on the floor. Point your toes and lift your feet about 6 inches off the floor. This is your start position. Alternate lifting and lowering your legs in little pulses without letting your feet touch the floor. Continue flutter kicking without letting your feet touch the floor until you complete your set. Place your hands under your lower back for more support.
Lie on the floor with both of your legs straight up with toes pointed. Put your arms out to the side for support. This is your start position. Breathe and begin rotating your toes tracing circles in the air. Repeat until you feel the burn, once you feel the burn do 5 more to complete one set.
Start in a modified plank position on your elbows and forearms. Keep your core tight and rotate your hips as you dip down to one side. Immediately reverse the movement dipping your other hip down to the opposite side, to complete one rep. Tip: Only use your core muscles to lower your hips down. Keep your spine neutral, don’t pitch your booty up.
Start in a reverse plank position with your palms and feet stacked under your shoulders and knees. Extend on leg out with toes pointed. This is your start position. Pull your knee into your chest. Then back out to the start position to complete one rep. Do the same number of repetitions with both legs to complete your set.
SIDE PLANK PULSES
Start in an upright kneeling position. Extend your arms straight out in front of you. This is your start position. Inhale as you lean back, as far as you can, keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. Your back should remain straight throughout the movement. Exhale and squeeze your abs as you get your body back up to the start position, to complete one rep.
SIT THROUGH EXERCISE
Sit leaning back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor extended out slightly. Place your arms by your sides with palms flat on the ground. Lift your butt up off the ground. This is your start position. Lift your hips upward into a table position. Lower back down through your arms as far back as you can – without touching the floor – to complete one rep.
WINDSHIELD WIPERS EXERCISE
Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the side. Lift your legs straight up and press the sides of your feet together. This is your start position. Squeeze your abs as you carefully lower your legs down to the left towards the floor (only go as far toward the floor as you can without dropping to the side). Your hips shouldn’t leave the floor. Reverse the movement, lifting your legs back up to the start position. Immediately repeat the movement on the opposite side. Return to the start position to complete one full rep. Continue alternating lowering and lifting your feet up and down until you feel the burn. Once you feel the burn do 5 more full reps to complete your set.
LYING LEG LIFTS EXERCISE
Lie with your feet straight up in the air, toes pointed and your arms out by your sides for support. This is your start position. Inhale and lower your legs down until they are about 6 inches above the floor. Exhale and quickly lift your legs back up to the start position to complete one rep. Tip: Put your hand under your body to support your back.
Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Your arms should be down by your side with your palms on the floor. Lift your shoulders off the floor. This will be your starting position. Reach one hand down towards the heel on the same side. Without lowering your shoulders down, immediately return to the start position, then repeat the movement on the other side to complete one rep.
KNEELING LEAN BACKS
Start in an upright kneeling position. Extend your arms straight out in front of you. This is your start position. Inhale as you lean back, as far as you can, keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. Your back should remain straight throughout the movement. Exhale and squeeze your abs as you you’re your body back up to the start position, to complete one rep.
SINGLE LEG BRIDGE EXERCISE
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Lift one leg up. This is your start position. Lift your hips up until your body is in a straight line. Keep your hips level. Slowly lower back down to the start position to complete one rep. Complete the same number of reps with your other leg to complete one set.
DEEP CORE WORKOUT INSTRUCTIONS
There are two options to use the deep core exercises above in a workout.
- Do 2 sets of 15 for all 12 exercises – or –
- Do 3 sets of 20 for 6 of the 12 deep core exercises.
Remember to warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio.
Are you going to try these exercises? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.
Your Coach & Biggest Cheerleader,