Your core is more than just a vanity project; it's the powerhouse that keeps you balanced, stable, and strong in everything you do, from hauling hay bales to chasing after energetic toddlers.

core exercises

Here are the top 10 core exercises you can do anywhere, at anytime:

1. Plank:

The classic plank is a core staple for a reason. It works your entire core, from your abs to your glutes and shoulders. Hold a high plank on your forearms or a low plank on your hands, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe. Aim for 3 sets of 30-60 seconds each.

2. Bird Dog:

This exercise challenges your stability and coordination. Start on all fours, then extend one arm and the opposite leg, keeping your back flat and core engaged. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps per side.

3. Dead Bug:

Don't let the name fool you – this exercise is anything but buggy! Lie on your back with legs extended and arms reaching towards the ceiling. Slowly lower one leg towards the ground while lowering the opposite arm behind your head. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps per side.

4. Hollow Hold:

This isometric exercise strengthens your deep core muscles. Lie on your back with your arms and legs extended, lifting them slightly off the ground. Hold for 3 sets of 15-30 seconds each.

5. Russian Twist:

This exercise targets your obliques, the muscles on the sides of your waist. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Lean back slightly and twist your torso from side to side, using your core to control the movement, not your arms. Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps per side.

Unilateral Core Challenges: These exercises add an extra layer of difficulty by working one side of your core at a time.

6. Single-Arm Farmer's Carry: 

Grab a weight in one hand and stand tall. Engage your core to keep your body straight as you walk for a set distance. Repeat on the other side. This exercise works your obliques and overall stability.

Hit the Gas: Want to get your heart rate up while strengthening your core? These dynamic exercises incorporate movement for a more intense workout.

7. Mountain Climbers: 

Get your heart rate up while strengthening your core with mountain climbers. Start in a high plank position and alternate bringing your knees towards your chest. Focus on keeping your core tight and your hips low throughout the movement. Do 3 sets of 30-60 seconds each.

8. Leg Raises: 

This exercise strengthens your lower abs and hip flexors. Lie on your back with your legs extended. Slowly raise both legs together towards the ceiling and lower your legs back down with control. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

Back to Basics: Don't underestimate the effectiveness of these simple bodyweight exercises.

9. Flutter Kicks: 

Lie on your back with your legs extended and a slight lift off the ground. Quickly flutter your legs up and down in a small, controlled motion, keeping your core engaged throughout. Do 3 sets of 30-60 seconds each.

10. Side Plank: 

This variation of the plank targets your obliques specifically. Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder and legs stacked. Lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line with your body. Hold for 3 sets of 30-60 seconds per side.