Core Strength: Not Just the Abdominal Muscles

STACK Expert Carol Ferkovic catalogs the muscles of the core and offers exercises to strengthen each one. Hint: It's not just your abs!

Renegade Row

Training the core is more complicated than simply performing Sit-Ups and engaging the abdominal muscles. A strong core also means strengthening the muscles of the hips, shoulders and spine.

Since a powerful core provides the stable base needed for all athletic movements, training the core has become essential for sports performance and rehabilitation. Improve your power and explosiveness and reduce your risk of injury with the following exercises.

Be slow and controlled with your movements. Doing these exercises too quickly or with improper form will not activate the muscles in the right way.

Perform each exercise to a point of slight muscle fatigue. The core muscles are endurance muscles, so you need to keep them strong for a full practice or game.

Hip Abductor Muscles

Side-Lying Hip Circles
Sidestepping with band around both ankles

Hip Extensor Muscles

Single- or Double-Leg Bridges

Hip External Rotators

Side-Lying Clamshells
Standing Hip Rotation with band around both knees

Scapular, or Shoulder-Blade, Muscles

YTI

Spine muscles

Single Leg Deadlifts

Deep Abdominal Muscles and Obliques

Side Plank Leg Raises


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CORE | POWER | EXERCISE | SPORTS | INJURY | ENDURANCE | SPORTS PERFORMANCE | FATIGUE | RAISES | SPINE | REHABILITATION | SCAPULAR