The importance of a strong core is one of the most widely understood facts in fitness – with a stronger core, we can move more easily and get better results from our workouts.
The benefits of a strong core are also something that should be shared and celebrated since everyone, no matter their age can benefit from it.
Leg Workouts for a Stronger Core
One of the best ways to improve your core strength is to regularly perform exercises that target your abdominal muscles. Unfortunately, many people neglect their leg muscles when working out, which can lead to imbalances and weak spots in the body.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of leg workouts for a stronger core. By including some or all of these exercises in your routine, you’ll be able to better target your abdominal muscles and improve your overall strength and stability.
The Basic Lunge
Most people know how to perform a basic lunge, but many don’t realize the benefits that this simple exercise provides. The lunge is a great way to work your legs and glutes, but it also forces your core muscles to engage in order to maintain balance. This makes the lunge an excellent choice for those looking to build a stronger core.
To perform a basic lunge, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one leg, lowering your body until both knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Be sure to keep your front knee directly above your ankle, and don’t let it extend past your toes. Keeping your torso upright, push off with your front leg to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
The Tuck Squat
A tuck squat is a great way to work your core while also getting in a leg workout. To do a tuck squat, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. Lower yourself into a squatting position, making sure to keep your back straight and your knees behind your toes. From here, jump up and tuck your knees into your chest before landing back in the squatting position. Repeat this for 10-15 reps.
The Curtsy Lunge
The Curtsy Lunge is a great leg workout for those looking to strengthen their core. This move targets the glutes, hamstrings, and quads while also working the core muscles. To do the Curtsy Lunge, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right leg behind you and cross it over your left leg. Bend your knees and lower your hips until both legs are at 90-degree angles. Make sure to keep your front knee stacked over your front ankle and avoid letting your back knee touch the ground. Press through your front heel to return to standing. Repeat on the other side.
The Staggered Lunge
The staggered lunge is a great way to work your legs and core at the same time. To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a large step forward with your right foot.
Lower your body until your left knee is nearly touching the ground and your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Push back up to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg.
This exercise is similar to the staggered lunge but with a little twist. To do this exercise, start in the same position as you did for the lunge. Now take your left leg and step behind your right leg into a squat position. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg.
When it comes to working out your legs, there are a lot of different exercises you can do. But if you want to focus on your core, then side lunges are a great option.
Side lunges target the muscles in your hips and thighs, as well as your core. To do a side lunge, start by standing with your feet together. Then, take a big step to the side with one leg and lower your body down into a lunge position.
Make sure that your knee doesn’t go past your toes and keep your other leg straight. Push back up to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Side lunges are a great way to work your legs and core at the same time. They’re also a great exercise to do if you’re trying to avoid knee pain.
Lateral lunges are a great way to work your legs and core at the same time. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step to the side with your right leg, then lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the ground.
Keep your core engaged throughout the movement. Return to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.
Drive through your heels to raise your hips off the ground until your thighs and torso are in line with each other. Hold for two seconds, then slowly lower back down to the starting position.
The Bird Dog
The bird dog is one of the best exercises for a strong core. It works the muscles in your back and abdominal area, as well as your glutes.
To do the bird dog, start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your back flat, raise your right hand and left leg at the same time, hold for a few seconds, and then lower them back to the starting position.
Repeat with your left hand and right leg. Do 10-15 repetitions on each side.
Dead Bugs (Start on hands and knees)
Start on all fours with your palms flat on the ground and your knees hip-width apart. From here, raise your right arm and left leg off of the ground, keeping your core engaged the entire time. Hold for a second, then return to starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps before switching sides and raising your left arm and right leg.
Hollow Body Holds
Hollow body holds are one of the best exercises you can do for a strong core. They activate all of the muscles in your core, including your abs, obliques, and lower back.
To do a hollow body hold, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Then, raise your head and shoulders off the ground and reach your arms overhead. Keeping your lower back pressed into the ground, hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
If this is too challenging at first, you can modify the exercise by keeping your knees bent and feet on the ground throughout the entire movement. As you get stronger, slowly straighten your legs until you are in the full hollow body position.
There are many variations of the plank exercise that can be performed to target different muscles in the core. Some common plank variations include:
-Forearm plank: This variation is performed by placing your forearms on the ground and holding your body up in a straight line. This exercise primarily works the muscles in the front of the core, including the rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis.
-Side plank: This variation is performed by placing your feet on one side and your forearm on the other side, and then holding your body up in a straight line. This exercise primarily works the oblique muscles, which are located on the sides of the abdomen.
-Plank with leg lift: This variation is performed by holding a regular plank position and then lifting one leg off of the ground. This exercise works all of the muscles in the core, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques.