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Functional Core Workout

A well-rounded, functional core workout will not only give you strong abs and a more supported back, it will also work your core the way it actually moves in real life. We twist, we bend, we rotate and our core workouts should be a reflection of those movements. The following exercises do just that, with a mix of standing and floor exercises that will challenge all the muscles in your abs and back for a strong, fit core.

Precautions
See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other conditions and modify any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.

Equipment Needed
A medicine ball, mat

How To

  • Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio
  • Complete each exercise as shown, keeping each move slow and controlled
  • Beginners, start with one set of 12-16 reps of each exercise. More advanced exercisers, complete 2-3 sets of 12-16 reps, resting about 30 seconds between exercises. You can also do this workout in a circuit format, one after the other with little or no rest between exercises.
  • Keep body stabilized throughout the movement and avoid swinging or using momentum
Standing Crossover Crunch
Stand with hands behind the head, elbows out. Bring the right knee up and across the body as you rotate through the torso, bringing the left shoulder towards the right hip. Return to start and repeat, keeping the move slow and controlled. Repeat for 16 reps on each side.

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Standing Side Crunch
Begin in a standing position, right arm up, weight resting on the left leg. Slowly take the right knee up and out to the side while bringing the right elbow towards right knee, squeezing the obliques. Take the arm up and the foot down and repeat, keeping the move slow and controlled. Repeat for 16 reps on each side.
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Static Lunge with Rotations
Begin in a lunge position, right leg forward, left leg back. Hold a medicine ball with the arms straight out. Keeping the lower body stable, rotate from the torso to bring the arms across the body to the right. Come back to center and now go to the left, keeping the move slow and controlled. Repeat for 8 reps, then switch legs and complete another set of 8 reps.
Side Bridge with Hip Drops
Lie on your side balanced on the forearm and the feet in a side plank: Put one knee down for a modification, stagger the feet, or stack the feet (hardest version). Hold that position and lower the hips slightly, then bring them back to a straight line. Repeat for 8 reps on one side and 8 reps on the other.
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Seated Torso Twist
Sit holding a medicine ball with knees bent and lean back slightly, torso straight.  Rotate to the right, squeezing the abs and touch the medicine ball to the floor.  Come back to center and rotate to the left.  Repeat, alternating sides for 1 set of 16 reps (one rep is to the right and left). 
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