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My 3 Favorite Core Exercises

Core Exercises are always in style, right? If I had a $100 for every time I have been asked what is the best core exercise to help me get rid of my belly fat I would be writing this blog from the beach in Punta Cana!

Seriously, core exercises have their place and are important to do. Consider a few of the main reasons why they are important:

  1. They can help stabilize your spine.
  2. They can prevent low back injury or discomfort.
  3. They can help improve sporting activity.
  4. They help improve posture.

As a result of the benefits listed above for doing core exercises, here are my three current (yes, they do change) favorite core exercises:

Bridges

Preparation

Exercise preparation

  1. Begin by lying flat on floor in supine position with knees bent, feet flat, toes pointing straight ahead and arms by sides.
  2. Activate core by drawing navel towards the spine and squeezing the glutes.

Movement

With core activated and glutes squeezed, lift hips off ground to form a straight line between knees and shoulders.

Hold and slowly return back to floor, touching floor momentarily then repeat.

If your client feels their hamstring cramping, check their pelvis for correct alignment. Pelvis should be neutral – asis and psis should be even or horizontal. If there is a misalignment correct it. If you aren’t sure then gently stretch the quads and try the exercise again.

Prone Iso Abs (i.e. Planks)

Preparation

  1. Kneel on the floor on all fours.
  2. Align your hands directly beneath your shoulders.
  3. Align your knees directly beneath your hips.

Movement

  1. Lift and extend one leg to the floor behind you.
  2. Place the ball of your foot on the floor as in a push-up position.
  3. Maintain neutral spinal alignment in this semi-supported position.
  4. If you feel comfortable enough, extend both legs into a full plank position.
  5. Make sure to keep your shoulder blades down and wide on your back during all phases of the exercise.

Mecaback Wedge Crunch

Set Up (standard) 

Feet on the floor, Arms crossed at chest 

Execution 

  1. Maintain a stable pelvis. Tailbone gently pointing down. 
  2. Brace your abdominals and lift straight up. Only lift your torso 2-3 inches from the floor, 
feeling the point at which the abdominals are working hardest, pause.
  3. Slowly lower.
  4. Repeat. 

Maurice D. Williams is the owner of Move Well Fitness in Bethesda, MD, and Assistant Professor of Health & Human Performance at Freed-Hardeman University.  He is a NASM Master Instructor and Master Trainer,  and is also certified with NASM as a Corrective Exercise Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Senior Fitness Specialist & Weight Loss Specialist, and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by NSCA.

MFN Industry Expert