The physiotherapists, chiropractors and other sports medicine specialists at our Toronto clinics counsel many of their patients on how to strengthen their core muscles. A strong core is crucial to balance, agility, and maintaining mobility as you age. It’s an important component of conditioning for virtually any sport from running to swimming and team sports.

If you’ve never exercised the core muscles, though, it may be daunting to start. Attempting challenging exercises too soon can be discouraging, so much so it may put you off from continuing.

Here’s a look at some exercises to start with when you want to strengthen your core.

Superhero Lift

  • Lie flat on the floor on your front.
  • Extend your arms down at your sides, legs straight.
  • Lift your head from the ground, chin first.
  • Follow with your right arm and right leg, and try to hold them about 10 to 15 cm from the ground.
  • Hold for at least the count of three, and then lower slowly to the ground.
  • Repeat ten times on each side.

Side To Side

  • Lie on your back on the floor.
  • Bend your knees, and raise your lower legs so they are parallel to the ground. Stretch your arms down at your sides.
  • Swivel your hips over to the right, and bring your knees as close as you can to the floor without actually touching.
  • Rotate back to the centre, and then over to the left in the same way.
  • Repeat another five times on each side.

The Bridge

  • Lie on your back, and bend your legs up at a 90-degree angle while keeping your feet flat on the ground.
  • Lift your hips and lower back off the floor by crunching your abdominal muscles.
  • Lift until you reach a position where your body is straight from shoulder to knee.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times.

If you are having trouble with any of the exercises, or are experiencing pain or strain in some cases, our Toronto physiotherapists and other sports medicine specialists are available for consultation or advice.

Beginner’s Ab Crunch

  • Lie on your back close to a wall.
  • Put your feet on the wall as a support, with your knees up and bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Cross your arms over your chest.
  • Tighten your ab muscles, and as you do, raise your head and shoulders off the floor.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Lower your head back to the ground, and repeat.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Reverse Crunch

  • Lie on your back, and bend your knees up to your chest as far as they will go.
  • Slowly, lower your feet back down to the ground, going as far as you can without actually touching the floor.
  • Hold for 1 or 2 seconds, and then slowly raise your knees back up to your chest.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Core strength is important, and becomes even more so as we age. If you have any questions, or would like one of our Toronto physiotherapists or other sports medicine specialists to devise a customized exercise plan for you, don’t hesitate to contact one of our clinics for a consultation today.