4 Exercises You Don’t Expect To Work Your Core

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In the midst of our at-home (crossfit style) workouts, I made some observations.

Like, how SORE my CORE always was! And I was hardly doing any sit-ups. Or other variations of a typical abdominal exercise…

Turns out, your core gets worked by soooo many different moves. Which kinda makes sense – since your core is at, well… the core of your entire body.

Let’s be done stating the obvious.

But what might not be obvious is how changing the level of intensity (or weight, when applicable) can work your core muscles more than you usually do.

Example? Sprinting! I don’t typically feel my core being ‘challenged’ during a regular jog, or even moderately paced run. But sprinting? Wowza, that’s a different story! In one of our latest at-home workouts we did 100 meter sprints and 20 squats with shoulder press for 8 rounds.

My core hurt the next day. And it felt awesome. Just another reason why I love HIIT!

So, now that I’ve already given away one of my exercises that you don’t expect to work your core, here are a few more!

exercises you don't expect to work your core 2

1. Sprinting

Ok, we’ll officially add it to the list. When you sprint, your abs contract holding you upright. Sprinting is also a good thing to do while also getting an ab workout, because it’ll burn more calories. Gotta burn that fat in order to see the abs you’re building!

2. Push-ups

Before I started getting bigger into fitness, I thought push-ups were predominately an upper body and chest workout.

HA! Try doing a push up after sprinting and a few other ‘traditional’ ab moves. Go ahead, try it. Tell me it doesn’t hurt.so.good.

So the core benefits from push-ups are great, and the arm sculpting aspect is pretty great, too.

3. Standing dumbbell press…or many other exercises using free weights

This is one I’ve started to notice more the heavier I lift. And it’s also another reason to skip using machines for your workouts and pick up free weights instead.

When standing, you flex and challenge your core and legs, where if you were sitting they would be relaxed. Less benefit to the exercise that way.

4. Burpees

Everybody’s favorite love-to-hate exercise! This one might be a little obvious since you throw yourself into a plank position (over and over and over), but it wasn’t until I did 100 of these in one workout that I really noticed they were killing my core (in a good way.)

So, next time you do a core workout, follow it up with one of these killer core moves (especially a sprint or burpee for extra calorie/fat burn!) and you’ll really feel it everytime you laugh the next day! 🙂

Want some awesome at-home workouts that use these exercises? Find them here!

At-Home Workouts

Be on the lookout for the Healthy Dessert Month recipe round-up this Wednesday!

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