When most people think of their core, they automatically think abs. While your abs are a key component to the core, your core also includes your low back and hips as well.
This is my absolute favorite core exercise of all time. In fact, I do plank variations in every single workout. If I had to do one core exercise for the rest of my life, this would be it.
2. Leg Raises
This move should not hurt your low back. If it does, place your hands underneath your low back for support and/or don’t drop your legs down as low. This exercise is meant to work your core, not hurt it, so make sure you are listening to your body’s signals.
This move took me a while to master. The full V-up is pretty advanced, but you can always do the modified version as you work up to it. Once you master the V-up, you can even try holding a weighted medicine ball in your hands for all of you that are advanced.
4. Plank Knee Crosses
Mastered this move? Try doing them slower! Exhale and blow all the air out of your lungs as you pull that knee towards the opposite elbow. The idea is to get as close as you possibly can and aim for the outside of the elbow.
While this is an isometric exercise, requiring no movement, it’s a real burner. Make sure you keep your shoulders down and away from your ears and your low back glued to the mat.
Most people think that a bridge is for your glutes, and it is. But, this move, when performed correctly with your hips tucked under and low abdominals engaged, is great work for your core as well.
This move really targets the low back. In fact, many people suffer from low back pain because their core (including their low back) is actually really weak. If this variation is too difficult, skip the “pull” part and just practice raising your arms and legs off of the ground.
Plank Shoulder Taps
As you can probably tell by now, I love planks. This one is a great variation to challenge your balance and core control a bit further. When doing the shoulder taps you really want to avoid rocking your hips and body from side to side. The only motion that should be happening is your hand moving to the opposite shoulder. Work at it, you will get it!