Best Core Exercises – Top 10 Revealed

We all dream of having the perfect fit and toned body, but dreaming is so much simpler than doing. We have become so good at scouring the Internet to find helpful videos and guides from in-shape experts who make us feel determined and motivated. We enthusiastically and avidly follow these trainers for about one or two weeks, but in the end, we always end up bailing. Motivation and discipline are two different things, we realize, and dedicating hours of each day to working out is a hard commitment to stick with.

We wrote this article specifically for people who resonate with frequent failures to keep up a workout routine. It happens to the best of us, and it's mostly to blame because of how much we demand of ourselves right off the bat. We need routines that will take us less than an hour each day, so we don't feel like we are dedicating large chunks of our day to something we are unsure about. Luckily for people like us, there are countless best core exercises out there that take little time and focus on the most important parts of our bodies.

Products FAQs

shirtless man holding dumbbell

Photo by Anush Gorak from Pexels

We found and answered some of the most frequently asked questions from curious individuals looking to improve their core strength with the best core exercises out there. We hope these questions will bring light to the endless benefits of performing core exercises and the aspects of one's life they will improve. We also have a few helpful tips and tricks you can utilize to make the most out of your workout so you can get and keep the desired results you'll feel good about!

1. What Are the Benefits of Practicing Core Exercises?

2. Who Benefits the Most from Core Exercises?

3. How Can I Make the Most Out of My Core Workouts?

4. How Can I Perform Core Exercises Safely?

5. What Equipment Should I Use?

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the following ten best core exercises based on their unique features, their respective pros and cons, an explanation of how to properly perform the workout, and if any equipment is needed. We hope you find this list helpful and try out a few of these workouts for yourself because our team spent much time and effort to research the ten best core exercises and bring you this non-biased best-of list! 

What We reviewed

  • Front Squat
  • Plank
  • Oblique Band Rotations
  • Suspended Atomic Push-Ups
  • Flutter Kick
  • Side Plank
  • Deadlift
  • Weighted Decline Sit-Ups
  • Turkish Get-Up
  • Hanging Leg Lift

Front Squat

PROS

  • This exercise engages your whole body including your hips, legs, and arms
  • It has a simple premise and is easy to understand
  • Good but not great muscle pumps

​CONS

  • You may run the risk of hurting your back
  • Make sure you have a spotter to help you if you are new

How to Perform the Exercise

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with the barbell in front rack position. Keep your chest upright, squat until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground, push through your heels to stand back to start.

Equipment

  • Barbell 

Plank

PROS

  • Simple, classic workout
  • Does not require equipment

​CONS

  • Not new or unique

How to Perform the Exercise

Get into a push-up position with your toes on the floor and your hands underneath your chest. Lower down so your forearms are on the ground and your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight and hold for up to 90 seconds.

Equipment 

  • Optional exercise ball 

Oblique Band Rotations

PROS

  • Offers a functional way to strengthen the core
  • Engages core and obliques to stabilize posture

​CONS

  • Requires equipment
  • Tricky exercise to master

How to Perform the Exercise

Tie a resistance band to a squat rack and stand with the rack to your right. Pick up the end of the band with both hands and keep your arms perpendicular to your body. Move the band from right to left of your torso and back again.

Equipment 

A resistance band and something to tie it to at shoulder-level

Suspended Atomic Push-Ups

PROS

  • Forces entire body to stabilize and engages the core
  • Two-step workout for double results

​CONS

  • Tricky to perform properly
  • Requires suspension cradles

How to Perform the Exercise

Put your feet into suspension cradles and get into a push-up position with your hands underneath your chest. Do a push-up and make sure your lower back is straight. When you finish, bring your knees into your chest picking your hips up into a V position as you complete the movement. 

Equipment

  • Suspension cradles

Flutter Kick

PROS

  • Simple, easy-to-understand workout
  • Requires no equipment

​CONS

  • Does not engage the entire body

How to Perform the Exercise

Lie face-up with your arms by your side and legs extended away from your body. Raise your arms, legs, and torso 6 in. off the floor and flutter your legs alternating feet up and down a few inches above the floor. Do this for about 30 seconds. 

Equipment

N/A

Side Plank

PROS

  • Engages entire body at different times
  • Improves posture

​CONS

  • Difficult to master

How to Perform the Exercise

Lie on your side with your arm bent at the elbow and place it beneath your shoulder. Place your upper hand on your hips and push your body towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds. 

Equipment 

N/A

Deadlift

PROS

  • Easy to understand and perform
  • Strengthens arms

​CONS

  • Requires dumbbells
  • Easy to irritate your back

How to Perform the Exercise

With your feet hip-width apart, hold two dumbbells in front of your body with palms facing your thighs. With a slight bend in the knees, push your hips back to lower the weights down in front of your legs. Lead your torso down with your chest until you reach the middle of your shin. 

Equipment 

  • Dumbbells

Weighted Decline Sit-Ups

PROS

  • Your muscles are working against gravity in this exercise
  • The added weight helps build brute strength

CONS

  • Cannot perform at home

How to Perform the Exercise

Use a glute ham developer at your gym and lie on your back with your legs anchored and your upper body in a decline position. Hug a weight plate to your chest and roll up slowly. 

Equipment 

  • A glute ham developer and a weight plate

Turkish Get-Up

PROS

  • Big calorie burner
  • It works every major muscle group
  • Challenges muscles to stabilize at once

CONS

  • Tricky to perform
  • Requires a kettle bell

How to Perform the Exercise

Lying down with a kettle bell in your right hand, a weight lifted directly over your chest with your arms straight and your elbows locked. Keep the kettle bell lifted above your head and slowly roll yourself up onto your left elbow. Lift your hips and bring your right leg underneath to a split squat stance. Stand up and bring your feet together with the kettle bell still overhead and reverse the movements to return to starting position. 

Equipment

  • A kettlebell 

Hanging Leg Lift

PROS

  • Uses your core the same way the muscles are used when you walk
  • Requires you to work against gravity with the heaviest part of your body: your legs!

CONS

  • Requires a pull-up bar
  • Should be done in a gym

How to Perform the Exercise

Hang from a pull-up bar and lift your legs up keeping them straight. It's important that you roll your pelvis up, lower your legs and repeat. A captain's chair works just as well as a pull-up bar if you don't have one.

Equipment

  • A pull-up bar or a captain's chair

Best Core Exercises - The Verdict

There are many ways one can get the body they've dreamed of having, and we hope our top ten list of the best core exercises is a good start for you. These workouts take less than ten minutes of your time each, and you can try any variation of them to suit your needs. You could utilize all ten and alternate which best core workouts you perform on which days of the week!

Getting a sculpted figure is possible, all you need is our helpful guide and the endurance and motivation to stick to your goals. We know you can do it, so pick your favorite workout from our list and get started right away! You will feel the results after your first few reps!

Featured Image by Hannah Wells from Pixabay

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