The core. And core exercises. Ugh! Perhaps you are familiar, perhaps not. No matter, you’ll be very familiar by the end of this. This part of the body is getting more recognition these days and with good reason. The real MVP, your core is first in and last out to [most] movements that you do. What is your core, why is it important, and what are some ways to strengthen it?
What is your core?
If you look up the dictionary definition of core you may get a return that says, “a part of something that is essential to its existence.” Whoa. A response like that better gets your attention. In relation to your body, the core is the central part and includes your back, stomach, hips, and pelvis. It wraps your body in a 360-degree way. Although its 9-5 job is to stabilize your spine, in doing so it takes on a bunch of part-time endeavors like helping your arms and legs move. THUS, it really is THAT important.
What does your core do?
Your core holds you up so even if all you want to do is sit in a lawn chair on your porch outside, you need it. A strong core means good posture. Good posture means improved circulation, digestion, and a greater lung capacity. It means headaches, less back pain, better balance, more energy, and (drumroll, please,) fewer injuries. More energy + fewer injuries means more time spent doing the things you love with the people you love. Woohoo! Sounds like a win.
For a strong core think activation and engagement. You can keep your engaged all of the time. Remember the part about it being in the front and back? Straight abdominal crunches are not going to cut it. Ensure that you pay just as much attention to your “back core” as your “front core.” You don’t have to max out at 500 crunches for a strong core.
Use these core exercises at home, for free (on Miss Pursuit) to make your outdoor experience even better!
For whatever reason, bridges just feel like less work. Maybe it’s because your head is on the floor. Try it now:
Lie on your back with your knees bent hip width. Feet flat. Abs tight. Lift your hips off the floor by squeezing your seat. Your back will be flat and the tops of your shoulders stay on the floor. Hold for eight seconds. Slowly lower, and repeat.
Adding a little more movement to your game, this one can be a burner.
Lie on your back with your legs on a tabletop (knees above hips and bent 90 degrees). Curl chin to chest, shoulders off the floor. A hand can go behind your head with elbows wide. Twist your upper body to bring your right elbow to your left knee while you straighten your right leg to a hover. Then switch. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Work to feel this in the core (i.e. center of the body) rather than crunching your neck.
The bane of all existence. The original full body workout. Nothing hits your core and makes you feel stronger than a plank. Straight arm, forearm, and side. You name it, if it’s a plank, you should be doing it.
Feet together, hip-width; surprise yourself. Bones stack, so stack them for an easier time. You got it, give it a go.
Place your forearms on the floor. Shoulders stacked over elbows. Body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage all of the muscles in your body. Wam bam, thank you ma’am. You are planking!
There are a TON more core exercises than the above but you will see great results incorporating these into your daily routine. You use your core all the time from picking things up to high-fiving someone. From walking to the tree stand, shooting the buck, reeling in the fish, to manipulating the fork to your mouth.
Give your core some love, yall!
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