“All physical activity begins with the body’s core. I maintain the strength in my core so that I can jump, run, start, stop, and accelerate at the highest levels.” – Derrick Rose


A strong core is the foundation of a healthy and fit body.

It is essential for overall physical health and functionality as it provides stability, improves posture, and enhances athletic performance. Strengthening the core muscles, including the abdominal, back, and hip muscles, can also help prevent injuries, alleviate lower back pain, and improve balance and coordination.

Ultimately, a strong core supports proper body alignment and efficient movement, making everyday activities easier and more comfortable.

So, whether you’re an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or simply looking to improve your overall fitness, focusing on core strength is necessary for optimal performance and long-term well-being. Prioritizing core strengthening exercises can lead to better overall fitness and an active, pain-free lifestyle.


How to Gain a Strong Core: Top 20 Core Workouts

Everyone is different and each of us has both preferences and limitations when it comes to working out. This overview of the top core strengthening workouts will give you options to help you develop a solid and functional core.


  • Plank Variations: Planks are excellent for engaging your entire core. Try variations such as forearm plank, side plank, and high plank to challenge different muscle groups and build core strength.


  • Bicycle Crunches: This classic exercise targets both your rectus abdominis and oblique muscles. Lie on your back, bring your knees up, and perform a cycling motion while touching your elbow to the opposite knee.


  • Russian Twists: Sit on the floor, elevate your feet, and twist your torso from side to side, touching the ground with your hands. Russian twists are effective in strengthening your obliques.


  • Flutter Kicks: Lie on your back and extend your legs slightly off the ground. Alternate lifting each leg up and down in a fluttering motion. This exercise engages your lower stomach muscles and hip flexors.


  • Dead Bug: Lie on your back with your arms and legs raised. Slowly lower one arm behind your head and the opposite leg towards the ground, then return to the starting position. This workout targets your deep core muscles.


  • Mountain Climbers: Assume a push-up position and alternate bringing your knees towards your chest in a running motion. Mountain climbers engage your abdominal muscles, hip flexors, and shoulders, providing a great cardiovascular workout too.


  • Pilates Scissors: Lie on your back and raise your legs. Lower one leg towards the ground while keeping the other leg lifted. Alternate legs in a scissor-like motion. This exercise strengthens your lower stomach muscles and hip flexors.


  • Superman Pose: Lie face down with your arms extended forward and legs straight. Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground, engaging your lower back and glutes. Hold for a few seconds and release.


  • Stability Ball Rollouts: Place your forearms on a stability ball, with your feet on the ground and your body in a plank position. Roll the ball away from you, extending your arms, and then roll it back towards your body. This exercise engages your entire core.


  • Side Plank Hip Lifts: In a side plank position, lower and lift your hips, targeting your obliques and deep core muscles. Repeat on both sides for balanced strength.


  • Bird Dogs: Start on your hands and knees, then extend one arm forward and the opposite leg back. Keep your core engaged and maintain a straight line from your hand to your foot. Switch sides and repeat.


  • Hollow Body Hold: Lie on your back, engage your core, and lift your legs and upper body off the ground. Hold this position, focusing on maintaining a strong and stable core.


  • Standing Cable Rotations: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a cable handle with both hands. Rotate your torso from side to side, engaging your obliques and improving rotational core strength.


  • Swiss Ball Crunches: Lie on a Swiss ball with your lower back supported. Perform crunches, engaging your abdominal muscles to lift your upper body while keeping the ball stable.


  • Medicine Ball Slams: Hold a medicine ball overhead and forcefully slam it onto the ground. This explosive movement engages your core and provides an excellent full-body workout.


  • Hanging Leg Raises: Using a pull-up bar, hang with your arms extended, then raise your legs towards your chest. This exercise targets your lower stomach muscles and hip flexors.


  • Woodchoppers: Using a cable machine or resistance band, start with your arms raised diagonally overhead. Pull the cable or band down and across your body, engaging your obliques. Repeat on both sides.


  • Reverse Crunches: Lie on your back, bring your knees towards your chest, and lift your hips off the ground. This exercise targets your lower abdominal muscles.


  • Pallof Press: Stand perpendicular to a cable machine or resistance band and hold the handle with both hands at chest level. Extend your arms forward, resisting the pull of the cable or band. The Pallof press strengthens your core and improves stability.


  • L-sits: Sit on the floor with your legs extended and lift your body off the ground using your hands on either side of your hips. This advanced exercise challenges your core and upper body strength.


So Many Ways to a Stronger Core and a Healthier You

A strong core is crucial for overall strength, stability, and physical performance. By incorporating some of these top core strengthening workouts into your exercise routine, you’ll develop a solid and functional core. In addition, try incorporating yoga and Pilates routines into your workouts. These disciplines focus on core engagement, stability, and flexibility, offering a well-rounded approach to core strengthening.

Remember to start at your fitness level and gradually increase intensity. Combine these exercises with a balanced diet and regular cardiovascular exercise for optimal results. Strengthen your core and unlock your full potential for a stronger and healthier you.


Treating Chronic Pain and Other Dysfunctions at Pain and Performance Solutions


If you are suffering from recurring or chronic pain, or conditions such as migraine headaches or nerve impingement issues, your next step should be to schedule a visit with Pain and Performance Solutions.

Regardless of how long or how recently your pain or discomfort has been affecting you, relief can begin once we can gain an in-depth understanding of when and how your issue started. This begins at your first appointment where we will work with you to learn about your present symptoms as well as any history of discomfort.

Contact us today at 707-636-4404 or book an appointment online to start your recovery process.