4 moves for a stronger core

Do this routine three to six times a week for a stronger core to keep you stable through life

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1. Dumbbell Woodchop

1. Dumbbell Woodchop

Routine: Supersets work best for a busy schedule. Start with the first move then immediately go on to the next with no rest in between. Rest for 45-60 seconds and repeat the combo. Do each combo for 2-3 sets.

What you will need:  A dumbbell (5 to 10 pounds) and a ball

Dumbbell Woodchop
Hold the dumbbell with both hands and straight arms. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.

1. Slightly twist your torso toward the outer side of your right knee. Keep your chest up, arms straight and abdominals in.
2. Pull the weight up across your chest in a diagonal fashion with straight arms. Movement ends when the dumbbell reaches your left shoulder. Feel a stretch in your abdominals at this point.
3. Return to starting position by slowly lowering the weight in the same fashion. Do 10-12 repetitions each side for one set.

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2. Ball Side Lying Oblique Crunch

2. Ball Side Lying Oblique Crunch

Place your right hip on the stability ball, ensuring your hips are square (belly button facing forward). Your top (left) leg goes back and the front (right) leg is forward for balance, hands behind your head. Imagine a wall is in front of you and behind you to avoid any twisting of the torso.

1. Bending at the waist (bring your lower rib to the top of your pelvis), lower your body toward the ground then pause.
2. Return to starting position and repeat for 10-12 repetitions each side to complete one set.

Tip: To increase the intensity, raise your arms above your head.

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3. Mountain Climber with Ball

3. Mountain Climber with Ball

Place your forearms on the ball, feet apart and legs straight. Keep your spine straight from the top of your head to your tailbone and pull your belly button in toward your spine.

1. Lift your left foot and bring your knee toward your chest.
2. Return the left leg to starting position and repeat with the right leg.

Do 10-12 repetitions per leg to complete the set.

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4. Kneeling Alternate Arm and Hip Extension (with Ball)

4. Kneeling Alternate Arm and Hip Extension (with Ball)

Place abdomen on the ball with your toes and hands on the ground.

1. At the same time, lift and reach your left arm and right leg toward the ceiling. Try to lift both limbs to the same height. Maintain both pelvic bones on the ball throughout the movement. Avoid excessive curvature in your lower back, draw your belly button in toward your spine, keep your nose pointing down to prevent strain on the neck and activate your buttocks. Hold the position for 3-5 seconds.

2. Return to starting position and repeat 6-8 repetitions each side.

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