Try These Unconventional Core Exercises!

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Work that torso in new and interesting ways.

You ever get the urge to just try something new? Not necessarily a complete upheaval of your lifestyle, just something different. I got a craving for chicken salad for the first time in over a decade last week, and I had the best chicken salad sandwich ever. Sometimes, a little deviation from the norm can do you some good. For instance, if you’ve gotten tired of the same old core-building exercises, try something a little different!

How do you typically do a push-up, for example? Hands on the ground, push it up, bring it down, same old same old. Here’s a fun idea: when you’re doing push-ups, when you’re returning yourself to the ground, try to pause mid-lower. This is called a half push-up hover; forcing your body to stop and hold in the middle of a fluid motion like that puts force on your core, on top of the force you usually get from a push-up. You can also try a single leg tabletop tricep push-up, wherein you place one of your knees on the floor and extend your other leg backwards. While technically easier than a regular push-up, it directs all of the motion to your waist.

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If you’d prefer to look up at the ceiling, try some different leg stretch variations. Lay flat on your back and lift your legs up toward your chest, bending at the knees. One after the other, point your feet straight out as far as your leg will extend, then bring it back. You can also try knee catches with the same general positioning, but instead of pointing your legs out, drop them toward the ground while they’re still bent, going one leg, then the other, then both.

A good exercise is all about focusing pressure toward a particular part of the body. As long as you know which ways your muscles flex, you can come up with all sorts of cool variations.