What core exercises can I do if I hate crunches and sit-ups?

One of the best things to do for the core is drawing in the belly toward the spine. Think of stabilizing your midsection and continue breathing. Remember this throughout the day, and when doing daily tasks, like carrying groceries. This will help strengthen your core while helping to lower your risk of lower back pain. 

If you have no shoulder or wrist issues, try doing slow mountain climbers. Start in the push up or plank position, straight back, firm core. Breathe out while bringing one knee inward, then straighten leg, breathing in. Alternate knees. Do this for one minute.

A couple you my like are Quad Opposites and a Rotating Push Press

 Quad Opposites

  • Position yourself on your hands and knees. 
  • Slowly draw-in your navel up towards your spine and tuck in your chin. 
  • Raise your arm with your thumb up and extend your opposite leg behind you remembering to keep your back flat. 
  • Keep your arm and leg straight lifting both up until they are in-line with your back. 
  • Hold the top position for a few seconds and slowly return to the starting position.  Repeat with the opposite arm and leg, alternating sides.

Pivoting Push Press

  • Stand with your feet straight and shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold a pair of dumbbell with both hands at chest level; elbows flexed.
    As you pivot on your right toe, turning to the left, push your arm out like you’re throwing a punch.
  • Pivot back on your toe to center while at the same time bringing are arm back into the starting position. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Core exercises are much more than crunches and sit-ups. A few of the NASM favorite core exercises are the prone iso-abs (or planks), side iso-abs (side plank), dying bug exercises, ball bridges, and marching. These exercise target the entire core and when performed properly will enhance your overall function and strength output when doing other exercises such as squats.

Sadie Lincoln
Sadie Lincoln on behalf of barre3
You can try variations on plank and downward dog. Focus on supporting the back body with the front in these poses. Get lift from the abs, through the body, toward the ceiling in plank. Lift the abs away from the hands and toward the tailbone in downward dog. You can work your abs with tailbone lift crunches and a fully supported neck on the floor, mat, or a folded blanket. I teach core work as a part of almost everything in class, and it can be something you incorporate into your daily life, just by bringing awareness to your core and engaging it properly. Work your abs without holding your breath, whenever you exert yourself. Practice breath work exercises inhaling into the rib cage, pull the abs toward the spine as you exhale. With practice it will improve your core muscle control.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.