Core Exercises for Women

FitnessVigil Staff Nov 6, 2018
Why are core exercises so important for women? There are different exercises that women can perform to strengthen the core? Here they are...
The core muscles, or the abdominal muscles, are so called because they form the core of the strength that we require to perform our daily activities. It is only when you have a strong core, will you realize what its benefits are.
All our movements are supported by the spine and abdominal muscles, which together form the core of our strength. The stronger your torso, the more flexible you will be. Having strong core muscles means you will reduce the risk of injury that you may otherwise be prone to due to a weak body.
Performing core exercises will also help you in your daily activities, and is particularly helpful to those who are involved in sports.
Since health and fitness training are important issues in today's time, presented here are some exercises that can be performed at home. These exercises are more important for women, as they are more prone to developing bone and joint diseases.

Exercises that can be Performed at Home

Note: Always consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime, to ensure that you are completely fit to perform them.
While performing any of the exercises, keep the following in mind:
  • Keep your abdominal muscles as tight as possible. Suck them in towards your spine as much as you can.
  • Perform a minimum of 2 sets per exercise, comprising at least 12 - 15 repetitions, with a 20-second break between each set, unless mentioned otherwise.
  • Ensure that you breathe normally while performing these exercises. This will prevent you from losing your breath, and will also keep the heart rate under control.
  • After you have finished the core workout, stretch your legs and hips in order to flex those muscles.
  • Try to increase the repetitions and sets as you get comfortable. Also, try to change your workout every few weeks.

Crunches

No matter what people tell you, crunches are one of the best core exercises. They tighten the abdominal muscles and strengthen the core. Crunches are further classified into several types, which have been mentioned here.
Basic Crunches:
  • Lie flat on your back, on an exercise mat. Keep your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor, and place your hands behind your head. Look upward, in order to maintain a space between your chest and chin.
  • Slowly raise your chest, while exhaling, and keep your abdominal muscles sucked in. Lower the back to the ground while inhaling. Use the strength of your abdominal muscles to pull you upward. Don't apply any pressure with your hands to propel you upward.
Bicycle Crunches:
  • Lie flat on your back, with your knees at a 90-degree angle in the air.
  • Lift your upper body, as you would do for a basic crunch. While lifting, twist your upper body, and pull your left knee toward your right elbow. Perform an alternate movement where the right knee meets the left elbow.
  • While your knee meets your elbow, the other leg should stretch out at a 45-degree angle.
  • Perform 15 repetitions for each side, if you desire firming of your abs. If you wish to burn fat, perform at least 50 repetitions for each side (2 sets of each).
Oblique Crunches:
  • Lie flat on your back, on an exercise mat, while keeping the knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor.
  • As you lift your upper body off the floor, exhale and rotate your body, so that your right elbow points towards your left knee. Maintain your effort in twisting your torso, and not the elbow.
  • Do this exercise in alternate movements, from the right side to the left side.
  • A variation of this exercise is to have one knee crossed over the other, and in the same rotating fashion, perform 15 repetitions with your elbow directed toward the knee.
Vertical Leg Crunches:
  • Lie flat on your back, with your legs lifted upward, so that your hips form a 90-degree angle. Cross your legs over each other in the vertical position.
  • Lift your upper body upward, as you would do in case of basic crunches. Exhale while doing so, and ensure that your stomach muscles are tightened, or sucked in.
  • Inhale and lower your body back to the floor, but do not touch your head to it.

Drawing In

This exercise is simple and works to strengthen the core muscles thoroughly.
  • Lie flat on your back, with your knees bent, and drawn close to your hips. Keep your feet flat on the ground.
  • Suck your stomach in, in a manner that you feel your belly button is pulled towards your spine. Pull as much as you can.
  • Hold on to this position for at least 10 seconds, and perform it 10 times.

Plank Exercise

This exercise not only strengthens the core muscles, but also gets rid of the love handles around the waist, and strengthens the back too.
  • Lie flat on your abdomen on the floor, with your forearms placed beside your head. Have your hands balled up into fists. Your knees and legs should be straight, with your legs resting on your toes.
  • Raise your entire body, while holding your weight on your forearms, fists, and toes.
  • While you lift your body, ensure that your whole body is in a straight line. Do not have your hips raised higher than the rest of your body.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles so that the strength to hold your body emanates from the core.
  • Hold this position in place for about 30 - 60 seconds, for about 5 repetitions.
These exercises are extremely helpful when performed on a regular basis. Only in the long run will the effects manifest into good health and fitness.