14 Workout Moves to Challenge Your Core Muscles

exercises to challenge your core

Rather than sticking with your basic crunches and sit-ups, check out these 14 challenging but effective workout moves that are sure to get your core strong in no time.

1. Crunch and Punch: Start on the floor with your knees bent. As you lift your torso up off the ground like you would for a sit-up, punch your arms. On the way down, keep your arms straight and lower slowly down.

2. Pull-Up and Crunch: Have access to a pull-up bar? Either hang with your arms extended or bring yourself up so your chin is above the bar and then use your abs to lift your knees in towards your chest. Release your legs back to straight and repeat.

3. Roll Up: Start lying on your back with your legs extended forward and your arms above your head. Lift up to seated with your hands in the air, and then lower slowly down.

4. Forearm Plank: It might not look like an ab workout, but forearm plank will work your core. You can further challenge yourself by lifting one foot off the ground at a time and bringing the knee to the elbow on the same side.

5. Leg Lifts: Lie on your back with your hands underneath your hips for support. Lift the legs so the toes are pointed to the ceiling. Lower both legs at the same time without touching the floor, and then lift the legs back up.

6. Bicycles: Instead of doing a regular crunch, twist so that your right elbow meets your left knee, and then switch sides.

7. Mountain Climbers: Start in plank and bring your right knee to your chest before quickly switching to bring your left knee in. Repeat.

8. Boat Pose: Balancing on your tailbone, bring your toes to the ceiling with your legs straight. Keep your spine straight and extend the arms out in front of you. Hold as long as you can.

9. Side Plank: Work the obliques by getting into plank but moving onto the sides of the feet and extending the arm to the sky.

10. Boat Variation: Starting in boat pose, lower your torso and your legs halfway to the floor with your hands supporting yourself behind your torso. Then bring your legs into the chest and extend them out again.

11. Boat with Medicine Ball: If you have a medicine ball, get into boat pose with your knees bent. Bring the weight to one side of your body and then to the other side. Repeat.

12. Star Abs: Lying on your back, lift your legs and shoulders off the floor. Extend the arms and legs so you make a star shape with your body. Press the legs in and then extend out before repeating.

13. Bridge Pose: Get into bridge pose like you would for yoga, but then lift one leg into the air so your toes are pointed to the ceiling. Lower the leg down so that it’s parallel to the ground without touching the floor, lift up again, and repeat before switching sides.

14. Corkscrew: Rest on your forearms and lift your legs into the air with your feet touching. Rotate the legs clockwise and then counter-clockwise without touching the floor.

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