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How to Strengthen Your Core

by Staff Writer

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Core exercise

Ask the average adult what they would most like to improve about their body, and most would tell you they'd like a flatter stomach. However, many of them do not realize that you need to do more than just fitness and exercise regimens to achieve this: You need a full core training routine. Follow the steps below and you'll have flat abs in no time.

Instructions:

  1. Sit-ups are the most well-known way to begin developing your core muscles. Lie on your back with an exercise mat beneath you and place your hands behind your head. Look straight up at the ceiling and imagine a grapefruit under your chin; this is the position you want to maintain. Do a set of 20 sit-ups, lifting your head towards the ceiling, and focus on the tightening and release of your core stomach muscles. If you are able, do a second set of 20 sit-ups.

  2. Turn on your left side and get into position for a side crunch. Bend your knees and lay your left arm on the floor straight out in front on you. With your right hand behind your head, lift to the ceiling, again focusing on the tightening and release of your muscles. Do a set of 20 and repeat on the right side.

  3. Flip around to your stomach for the plank. Raise your torso off the ground and place your arms underneath your body in a 90 degree angle. Your legs should be balanced on your toes. Focus on your core as it holds you in place for 15 seconds, and then release. Do as many of these as you can and attempt to increase the number as you develop strength in your core muscles.

  4. Repeat these moves several times a week and alternate the order and repetitions. Your sets and repetitions per set can slowly increase with time.

Warning and tip:

  1. As with any fitness and exercise program, start off slow when developing your routine. Try to work out three to five times a week, alternating routines to give your various muscle groups a chance to recover.

  2. For an extra challenge, try these exercises on an exercise ball.

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