Don't Skip Ab Day
You are probably familiar with the phrase “Don’t skip leg day,” but we’re here to say that your core muscles are important too! When you think of core exercises, your mind likely goes to old school sit-ups, but there are many more options out there for ensuring you are strengthening these key muscles.
Having a strong core goes beyond aiming for “six pack abs.” In fact, did you know your core muscles are largely responsible for your balance? As you get older, core strength and balance become more important and shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s why you should start adding regular core workouts to your fitness routine, if you haven’t already.
When deciding which exercises to include, ensure you are alternating between several moves to guarantee you are engaging all core muscle groups and avoid under developing one area.
Here are a few of our favorite core workouts:
- Planks are a great static exercise that helps strengthen not only your core, but your shoulders, back, glutes and hips as well. If you are just starting a core exercise regimen, planks are an awesome place to start. For planking tips and advice on your form, check out this post on planks for beginners.
- If you are looking to add variation to traditional crunches, try lifting your legs or performing cross-body bicycle crunches to target your lower abs and side oblique muscles. Combine several crunch variations in one to make your core really burn with this two-minute hard core abs workout.
- Adding weights to your core workout is another way you can switch up your routine to keep things feeling fresh. If you already have a set of weights lying around, put them to good use and incorporate them in moves like alternating dumbbell rows in a plank position or loaded jump squats. Check out this dumbbell workout from Bowflex Fitness Advisor Amy Dixon to take your abdominal training to the next level.
- If the thought of getting on the floor to do ab exercises is not your cup of tea, have no fear! There are plenty of standing ab exercises you can do to ensure you are keeping your core strong. Bowflex Fitness Advisor Tom Holland walks you through how you can get a strong core that helps you stay balanced on your feet with four simple exercises.