“What are the best core exercises for men?”
These 3 exercises that I show you here are among my favorites to keep my core strong and stable.
You do need to be warm before you do them, so they are ideal after a run or integrated into your gym workout or yoga practice.
Plank: Planks have been known to be “shoulders shredders”, responsible for many shoulder injuries, so you have to be extra aware that your shoulders are not rotated forward. Squeeze slightly back between the shoulder blades. The navel area should be retracted toward the lower back and the neck long. Do not lift your head back or drop it down, keep it in a neutral position, with the eyes facing the ground.
The breathing should be expansive across the flanks, as the belly stays pulled inward.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds, building up to a 1-minute plank.
Straight leg-lifts: The initial position is lying down on your back with legs straight and arms extended along the sides of the body, head slightly lifted off the ground. With every exhalation you lift the buttocks slightly off the floor, by using the lower abdominal muscles to pull you upward. Avoid swinging up and down with the legs, keep them as straight as possible and let the abdomen do all the work to lift your buttocks. This exercise is most effective when you don’t raise your lower body too high, just a small lift of the buttocks requires more control, and therefore more internal power.
Do 20 repetitions x 3 times, with a rest in between.
Side Plank: This exercise I love for my love handles! Make sure the elbow is positioned directly under the shoulder and that you lift your body with the power of your core, instead of putting all the weight on the supporting arm. The legs have to be strong and straight, with the feet powerfully one on top of the other. This position is held strongly from top to toes.
Hold for 30 seconds on each side x 2 times, with a rest in between.
Do not attempt these exercises if you have a history of disc hernia, inguinal hernia (more common in men), high blood pressure, frozen shoulder, bursitis or neck injuries.
If you experience any pain or any negative effects when practicing, stop and rest. Remember, small steps will create a stronger base.