Strengthen your core muscles with these exercises!

Understanding the core muscles-

The core muscles maintain spinal and also pelvic stability and can be divided into two groups, depending on the function they perform.  The deep core muscles which are stabilising in nature whereas the global muscles which are mainly mobilising ones.

The deep core muscles are pelvic, transervus abdominis, internal oblique, multifidus, diaphragm.  The global include erectors, external oblique, rectus, quadratus lumborum and also outer hip muscles.

Role of core muscles-

  • segmental spinal stability is thus maintained
  • protection of the spine and also the pelvic area
  • reduction of stress on the lumbar vertebrae and thus the intervertebral discs

Moreover, With a weak inner core, the outer core compensates for this weakness. Although the outer core muscles’ main function is movement, it is able to contribute to stability with overload. As a result of this, spasms, neural compression and pain may occur.

How to perform exercises to strengthen core?-

  1. Perform alternate knee lifts  in a supine position.
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Progress with any of the following-

  • Alternate arm reaches
    • Alternate knee lifts
    • Combine opposite arm and leg
    • Alternate straight leg raise 
  • Prone
    • Perform Glute sets with core activation
    • Alternate hip extension
    • Alternate arms/legs- use a Pillow may be needed under stomach
    • 4-point kneeling
      • Adding alternate arms
      • Alternate arms and legs
  • ½ kneeling
  • Good position for core strengthening
    • Incorporates balance training
    • Alternate arms reach
    • Trunk rotation
    • Can add light arm weights
  • Standing
    • Standing alternate arm raises, perform exercises with Theraband
    • Balance exercises engage core
      • Pregnancy
        • decreased standing balance
        • higher risk for falls, especially during the 3rd trimester.
  • Higher-level Exercises
    • plank  on elbows
      • Start off on knees, progress to on toes
  • Side-plank
  • Bridging- progress to single leg bridging
  • 4-point alternate arm/leg balance
  • Progress to whole-body movements.
    • Lunges
  • Side squats
  • High stepping.


Core strengthening activates the inner core as well as the outer core. They help maintain spinal and also pelvic mobility. They also help reduce the loads on bony vertebral bodies and thus allow for strengthening. However, Precautions should be taken in condition of pregnancy, pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, prolapse, or any related cases. While performing each exercise, it is essential to maintain proper breathing. Moreover, Holding of breath at any position is not encouraged.

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