Core Without Crunches: 4 Effective Exercises

Work your core, regardless of your body type, with these simple moves

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The secret to a strong core isn’t a thousand crunches. Kara Lennon, trainer and founder of “Elevate by K”, reminds us that our core “is any muscle that creates or resists movement at your spine.”

It's not just the 6-pack muscles you see on social media. Kara shows us a few moves that will strengthen your entire core – front, side, and back – without one crunch.

4 Core Exercises:

Dead Bug – Lay on your back with your knees above your hips with a 90 degree bend. With your arms straight up and back pressed against the floor to maintain engagement, gently tap your foot to the ground. Alternate feet. To advance the move, lower your opposite arm to the floor behind you.

Bird Dog – Start in a table top position (knees under your hips, hands under your shoulders). Extend opposite arm and leg while maintaining a neutral spine. Kara encourages people to resist the urge to arch the back during this one.

Bear Plank – Start in the table top position (knees under your hips, hands under your shoulders), tuck your toes under, and lift your knees slightly off the ground. This is a version of a plank to protect the lower back. Start with 15 seconds and build your way up to longer durations.

Wood Choppers – This move can be done standing or kneeling and it strengthens your core rotation. Keeping your hips facing forward and arms relatively straight, swing a light weight from one hip to the opposite shoulder.

Watch above to see the exercises in action. For more workout inspiration and ideas follow Kara on social media @karalennon.

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