The Power is in Your Core

For every beginner or experienced workout individual, there is a time where they have to focus on their most important muscles.   For me, these are the core muscles.  I work on my core every time I work out.  It is the foundation for the rest of my workout program.

In discussing the core muscles, the Mayo Clinic states, core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis; lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles. (

The bottom line is without a solid core your workout will not reach it fullest potential.  Even though crunches and planks receive a lot of love in fitness magazines, they are not sexy exercises and do not get the oohs and aahs that the deadlifts, bench press, and insane cardio get at the gym. They are the little exercises that go unnoticed until you realize they are the source of all your power.

Some of the most popular core exercises are:

Crunches (As recommended by the ISSA Personal Training Manual) 

(Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels


  1. Begin in a supine position by lying on the floor or a floor mat.
  2. Place your feet on a bench (or flat ground), with your hips and knees flexed at 90°.
  3. Rest your arms across your chest. This is the starting position.


  1. Flex the neck to move the chin to the chest by contracting the abdominal muscles and oblique muscles. Begin by pulling the rib cage up and over the pelvis.
  2. While keeping the lower back flat, continue to pull the rib cage up and over the pelvis.
  3. Slowly allow the trunk to uncurl then the neck to extend back to the starting position, while maintaining tension in the abdominal muscles.


  1. Always keep the lower back pressed firmly against the floor or floor mat.
  2. Do not place pressure on the neck by placing the hands behind the head.
  3. Work in a slow controlled manner concentrating on maintaining pressure on the abdominal muscles.

Bicycle Crunch (As recommended by Women’s Health)


  1. Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed into your mat.
  2. Interlace your fingers to create a cradle and place it behind your head.
  3. Elbows should be out of your peripheral vision.


  1. Float your legs up to a tabletop position, ankles in line with knees.
  2. Engage abdominals.
  3. Lift your head, so your shoulder blades are hovering off of the ground.
  4. Straighten the right leg long while turning the upper body left.
  5. Bring your right elbow towards your left knee.
  6. Twist at the ribs and lead with your shoulder rather than your elbow.
  7. Switch and repeat on the other side.
  8. Continue for full rep count.


  1. Don’t pull on your neck.
  2. Use your abdominals to lift.

Plank (As recommended by ISSA


  1. Start in a push-up position.
  2. Lower your elbows to the ground, keeping your palms and toes on the ground.
  3. Hold this position, keeping your spine in alignment from head to toe.
  4. Elbows should fall directly under your shoulders.


  1. Squeeze or contract your glutes.
  2. Squeeze or contract your quadriceps.
  3. Keep a straight line from head to toe.
  4. Shift or distribute your body weight evenly between your forearms, core, and feet.
  5. Tighten your core.


  1. Your butt should not be up in the air or dropping towards the ground. 
  2. Core should always remain tight during the entire exercise.

These are just three of the many wonderful exercises you can use for your benefit to build core strength.    There are many other movements but starting with these fundamental exercises you are on your way to greater fitness. 

The core is and always will be the center of your power!