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The 11 Ab Exercises You Need for A Stronger Core

Strong legs are for vital for running and athletic performance, but to become the best better runner (and athlete) you can be, a strong core is key as well.

A strong core will help you reach your fitness potential because it can help you run better, ward off back pain, and increase your speed. Plus, a strong core can also help maintain good posture and look sexy.

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Image Credit – Andrew Kornylak via Flickr

The 11 Ab Exercises You Need for A Stronger Core

Here is a core routine that will work your core muscles to complete exhaustion. Therefore, start doing them after you have a built a basic level of endurance and strength, and make sure to pace yourself and keep good form the entire time.

1. Swiss-ball Roll-out

Begin by kneeling on a mat or the floor, elbows bent under the shoulders, and resting tightly on a stability ball and core engaged.

To perform the Swiss ball roll-outs, roll the ball forward on the elbows as far as possible, then slowly roll back to starting position while keeping the back straight the entire time. That’s one repetition.

Do three sets of 15 reps each.

2. Side Plank Crunch

Lay down on your left side, then stagger the legs and raise up into a right side plank, bending the right elbow and resting it behind the head.

Next, while keeping the hips elevated and tracking the left shoulder over the left hand, start performing crunches by bending the right knee and bringing it across the body to lightly touch the right elbow.

Do 8 reps on each side to complete on set. Aim for three sets with perfect form.

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Image Credit – Santo Kilpinen via Flickr

3. Mountain Climbers

Get into a push-up position so the hands are directly under the chest at shoulder width apart. Make sure that your arms are straight and firm the entire time. That’s your starting position.

Next, raise your right foot off the ground, bring the right knee as close as you can to the chest , then take it back to the starting position and switch sides.

To up the ante, keep alternating, right knee then left knee to the chest, as fast as possible with good form for 16 to 24 reps to complete one set.

Shoot for three sets.

4. Cross-climber with Feet on a Swiss Ball

Assume a standard push-up position, arms straight, shins resting firmly on a Swiss ball. Be sure that your body is forming a straight line from head to the ankles.

Next, while bracing the core and keeping the back straight, raise the right leg off the ball and bring the right toward the left elbow, hold it for a moment, then move the right leg to starting position, and repeat on the other side, left knee to right elbow this time. That’s one rep.

Do 12 reps to complete one set. Aim for three sets.

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Image Credit – Zac & Amanda via Flickr

5. Medicine ball V-up

Hold a med ball, and lie on your back with legs straight and arms directly above the head. That’s the starting position.

Next, while keeping the elbows straight the entire time, lift your torso and legs as you bring the ball toward your feet, pause for a count of three, then slowly lower back to starting position. That’s one rep.

Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps each.

6. Spider-man Plank Crunch

Begin in a classic plank position with your forearms on the mat and body straight from head to ankles.

Next, raise your right leg, and bring your right knee it in towards the right elbow, hold it for a moment, then move your leg back to plank position, and switches sides.

Make sure to engage your core, and keep your body steady and straight throughout the movement.

Keep alternating sides for a total of 16 reps to complete one set. Aim for three sets.

7. Windshield Wipers

Lie down on your back, then lift your legs to a 90 degrees angle to end up in a “T” position. In case you need extra support with this one, feel free to spread your arms out to the sides.

Next, while keeping the hips in contact with the ground and embracing the core, rotate your legs in a slow and controlled manner to the right side as far as possible, pause for a moment, then rotate back to the left side. That’s one rep.

Do three sets of 8 to 10 reps each.

8. Med Ball Slams

Grab a med ball and hold it above your head, with feet shoulder-width part and arms slightly bent. Next, reach back as far as you can, the explosively slam the ball to the floor as hard as possible.

Receive the med ball on the rebound, explode upward, then drive it overhead and repeat.

Shoot for three sets of 12 to 16 reps each.

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Image Credit – Terry Goerge via Flickr

9. Double Mountain Climber

Get into a push-up position with hands a bit wider than the shoulders.

Next, jump both of your feet up towards the hands, with the knees coming just outside of the elbows, pause for a second, then push back to starting position in one continuous and explosive motion.

Do at least 25 reps on each side to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

10. Jump Squats

Assume an athletic position and stand as tall as you can with the feet spread shoulder-width apart.

Next, while keeping your back straight and head up, squat down until the knees are bent at roughly 90 degrees, then as soon as you reach the bottom part of the squat, jump up explosive in the air by mainly pressing with the balls of your feet, using the thighs like springs.

Move into the next rep as soon as you land on the floor.

Do 12 to 16 reps to complete one set.

Aim for three sets.

11. Plank with Alternating arm and Leg Raise

Assume a standard push-up position with both arms straight, fingers pointed forward and core activated.

Next, raise your right arm and left leg, then extend and straighten them both until they are parallel to the floor, hold it for a count of three, then repeat to starting positing and switches sides.

Do 8 reps on each side to complete one set.

Shoot for three sets.

Conclusion

I know it’s a lot of ab exercises but you need the variety to keep your core routines challenging and interesting. So please start doing the above exercises ASAP. Speed of implementation is key.

In the meantime thank you for reading my post.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below

David D

Featured Image Credit – Jeremy Hall via Flickr.

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David Dack

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