Functional Core Excercises

Functional core exercises for more toned abs and core are an integral part of any well-rounded fitness routine. Many people in the gym do traditional core exercises like sit-ups, planks, and leg raises and those are great when done correctly and also part of any personal trainer’s tool kit – unconventional or less obvious core exercises will add variety and let you work more than just the core. If you want to have nice toned abs after you have lost some weight then these types of exercises then this type of exercise is for you! A bonus is, it will also help improve stability and balance, which in not only important to Senior and Older Adults, but also everyone. Here are some benefits of incorporating unconventional core exercises into your routine:

  1. Improved functionality: Functional core exercises mimic real-life movements and activities, making them more practical for daily life. For example, exercises that involve twisting, bending, or reaching can help improve your ability to perform everyday tasks with ease and help improve your quality of life as you age.
  2. Better balance and stability: Unconventional core exercises challenge your core muscles in various planes of motion, helping you develop better balance and stability. This is essential for preventing injuries and falls.
  3. Increased muscle engagement: These exercises often target not just the superficial abdominal muscles but also the deep stabilizing muscles, like the transverse abdominis and multifidus (the inner most muscle in your back). Strengthening these muscles can improve your overall core strength and posture, while also helping to increase metabolism to help lose body fat.
  4. Enhanced coordination: Many unconventional core exercises require coordination. Engaging in these activities can improve your mind-muscle connection and overall coordination, making your movements more efficient and precise.
  5. Greater versatility: Unconventional core exercises offer a wide range of options, allowing you to adapt your routine to your fitness level and goals. You can easily modify these exercises to make them more or less challenging.
  6. Fun and variety: Incorporating unconventional core exercises can make your workout routine more interesting and enjoyable. This variety can help keep you motivated and engaged in your fitness program.
  7. Functional strength: Developing a strong and functional core is essential for supporting your body during various activities, whether you’re lifting heavy objects, playing sports, or simply bending and twisting. Unconventional core exercises help build this functional strength.

Here are some examples of unconventional core exercises that Personal Trainers incorporate in their clients workout routines:

  1. Medicine ball slams: This exercise involves slamming a medicine ball to the ground and catching it on the rebound. It engages the entire core, including all the abs, the obliques, and many more. It also enhances power and coordination while burning tons of calories due to it’s cardiovascular affects.
  2. Kettlebell swings: These exercises require the core to stabilize the body while swinging a kettlebell between the legs, working on hip and core power. This is another great way to raise your heart rate and build cardiovascular endurance all while strengthening your core. 
  3. TRX or suspension trainer exercises: Exercises like TRX pikes or knee tucks challenge core stability as you perform various bodyweight movements supported by straps. These exercises are also great for improving balance and strengthening connective tissue to help avoid injury
  4. Crawling patterns: Exercises like bear crawls and crab walks engage the core while promoting full-body mobility and coordination. There’s a reason babies and kids have great posture. 
  5. BOSU ball exercises: Utilizing a BOSU ball for squats, lunges, or planks adds an element of instability, forcing the core to work harder to maintain balance. It also forces you to have proper form which can greatly help you avoid injury. 

When incorporating unconventional core exercises, it’s important to maintain proper form and gradually increase the intensity to avoid injury – that’s why it’s so important to work with a Personal Trainer at Portland Personal Training.