Get a Stronger Core in 2 Weeks

Improve your core strength in two weeks with five exercises from STACK Expert Allen Langford.

When you think of core, do you think of abs? If so, you're not alone. But your core includes more than just your abs. It consists of all of the muscles around your trunk and pelvis.

Strengthening your core forms the foundation of a good training program and is vital to your athletic and fitness goals. Many exercises can improve overall core strength, but the ones detailed here are my favorites.

Before you strengthen your core, assess your present core strength. Many exercises can help you do this, but the Plank is one of the best. To establish your baseline, simply time how long you can hold the Plank.

After performing the exercises below for two weeks, perform another Plank test to determine how much your core strength has improved.

The 2-Week Core Workout

Perform the following workout two to three times per week at the end of a training session.

Wall Knee Drive

Sports Performance Benefits: Increases ab, hip and leg strength.

How to:

  • Place your hands on a wall and position your body at a 45-degree angle from it.
  • Keep your shoulders, hips and feet aligned and stand on the balls of your feet.
  • Tighten your core and bring your right knee up toward your right elbow.
  • Lower your right knee.
  • Bring your left knee up toward your left elbow, then lower it.
  • Move your hands further down the wall and bring your knees up again, one at a time.
  • Continue to re-position your hands lower on the wall and repeat the knee movements.

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each leg, each hand position

Superman Plank

Sports Performance Benefits: Strengthens the lower back and abs.

How to:

  • Assume a push-up position. Keep your hips aligned with the rest of your body.
  • Keeping your core tight, raise your right arm in front of you and your left leg behind you.
  • Lower them to their original positions.
  • Keeping your core tight, raise your left arm in front of you and your right leg behind you.
  • Lower them to their original positions.

Sets/Reps: 1x15 each arm/leg combination

Back Bend Medicine Ball Slams

Sports Performance Benefits: Strengthens the lower back, shoulders and abs.

How to:

  • Holding a medicine ball over your head, engage your abs.
  • Bend back as far as you can, keeping your legs as straight as possible.
  • As soon as you feel you cannot go back any more, bend your legs, bend forward and slam the ball down to the floor as hard as you can.

Sets/Reps: 1x20

Good Mornings

Sports Performance Benefits: Increases flexibility and works the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and abs.

How to:

  • Place a barbell behind your head, on your trapezius muscle.
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your legs straight.
  • With your back straight, your shoulders back and your core tight, hinge at the waist and stick your glutes out until your upper body is parallel to the floor.
  • Make sure your chest is over your knees and do not round your back.
  • Squeeze your glutes as you come back up.

Sets/Reps: 1x20

Physioball Bridges

Sports Performance Benefits: Strengthen the back, glutes, hamstrings and abs.

How to:

  • With your feet on the floor hip-width apart, lie with your upper back and shoulders on a physioball.
  • While activating your glutes, raise your hips so your shoulders, hips and knees are aligned. Your calves and thighs should be at a 90-degree angle.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock