Core Strengthening Exercises to Try at the Gym

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A strong and stable core is essential for overall strength, balance, and functional fitness. It helps you maintain proper posture, enhances athletic performance, and reduces the risk of injuries. When you hit the gym, it’s important to dedicate some time to focus on core exercises that target the muscles of your abdomen, lower back, and hips. Here are some effective core strengthening exercises to try during your gym sessions.


The plank is a fundamental core exercise that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. To perform a plank, start by assuming a push-up position, with your palms flat on the floor and your body straight from head to heels. Engage your core muscles, keep your back flat, and hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute or as long as you can maintain proper form. As you progress, you can try variations such as side planks or forearm planks to challenge your core even more.

Russian Twists

Russian twists target the oblique muscles, which run along the sides of your abdomen. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the floor, balancing on your glutes. Hold a medicine ball or weight plate in front of your chest and rotate your torso from side to side, tapping the ball or weight to the floor on each side. Aim for 10 to 15 reps on each side, gradually increasing as your core strength improves.

Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are excellent for working the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles) and the obliques. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands lightly supporting your head. Lift your shoulders off the floor and bring your right elbow to meet your left knee while extending your right leg straight. Alternate sides, bringing your left elbow to meet your right knee while extending your left leg. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on each side, focusing on controlled movements and engaging your core.

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are an advanced core exercise targeting lower abs and hip flexors. Hang from a pull-up bar with your arms fully extended and your shoulders relaxed. Engage your core and lift your legs towards your chest while maintaining a slight knee bend. Slowly lower your legs back down, avoiding swinging or momentum. Aim for 8 to 10 repetitions, gradually increasing as your core strength improves.

When incorporating core exercises into your gym routine, it’s important to prioritize proper form and control the number of repetitions. Try these exercises and see the results for yourself!