What is the first exercise that comes to mind when you think of working your core? Most would say crunches and sit-ups. While this is a great way to work your core, there are many ways to work your core. Engaging your core throughout your workout not only helps increase your core strength, but it will also improve your overall lifting form.

Barbell Deadlifts

Traditional deadlifts are a great all-around exercise. This exercise works your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, traps, lower back, and your core. In order to do this exercise well, you need to have a strong lower back and core. Practice your form with a lower weight and graduate up to a heavy weight. See how your core plays a huge roll in this exercise.

Single- Leg RDLs

This is not only a great exercise for your hamstrings, but it puts a huge focus on balance. Since balance is a big part of this exercise, your core is needed! Focus on engaging your core during this exercise and it will surely help your form.

Kettle Bell Swings

This exercise takes momentum. With the proper form, it forces you to use your core. As you thrust the hips forward to move the kettle bell up, it requires core strength to lift the kettle bell and to stop it at parallel.

Standing Shoulder Press

You wouldn’t think that you would need your core for a shoulder press. However, a lot of people neglect their core during this exercise causing them to bend backwards to get the weight they are lifting over their heads. This can cause back pains and injury. If you focus on using your core during this exercise you’ll be in proper form and increase your core strength.

Barbell Front Squat

This variation of a squat is great for core. Distributing the weight to the front of your body forces you to engage your core much more than a barbell back squat. Your balance comes into play with this exercise. Try this out and see how much you can feel your core when you squat!

Need help with core activation or form while working out?  Contact us, we are always willing to help to make exercising enjoyable and avoid injury. If you are ever wondering if your form is right it is always best to ask. Whether you are at Inward Fitness or your local gym, don’t be afraid to ask. It is better to ask then to wind up injured. There is more to working the core than crunches and sit-ups. Be intentional with every movement you make while you work out. Think about engaging your core in every exercise you do, and you’ll surely increase your core strength.

Written by Jacquelyn M