Your core acts as the foundation for your whole body. To ensure results from any physical activity, you need to have a strong core. Core exercises not only strengthen your abdominal muscles, but also your lower back, hips, and pelvis. When all these muscle groups are adequately trained, they’ll be able to work in harmony by creating stability and balance. Some benefits of having a strong core are that they’ll improve your posture, lengthen your spine, stabilize your pelvis and lower back, amplify your endurance, increase your flexibility, and increase brainpower!
Of course, it’s possible to strengthen your core without any equipment; however, there’s only so much you can do. Eventually, your body weight will be too easy to work with. Implementing equipment within your core exercises will intensify and maximize your workout. It will force your abdominal muscles to work even harder, which will deliver you fast results. Here’s a list of core equipment and their properties to use within your home:
Medicine balls are weighted balls used for strength training within your obliques. The weight of the ball encourages neuromuscular coordination and balance. For instance, doing an exercise like Russian twists with the medicine ball will cause your body to lose its balance, forcing them to work harder, therefore engaging your deeper core muscles. They’re easy to store at home, and most are purchased at 2-25lbs. The price varies depending on how heavy the ball is.
Ab rollers are one of the most effective tools to implement within your exercises and leave you feeling extremely sore the next day. Ab rollers target several muscle groups like your obliques, latissimus dorsi (upper back), abdominal, shoulders, and erector spinal (lower back). This is a more challenging exercise to use due to the amount of control you need, as well as the strain and force it places on your body. It’s also important to point out that you must have proper form when using the ab roller, or it won’t be effective. Make sure to avoid arching your back, seeing as that will only injure you. Price=$10-$50.
Exercise balls, also called stability balls, are great for doing regular core exercises such as crunches. However, the unstable surface of the ball causes your core to simultaneously activate more muscles forcing you to maintain your balance and composure. It also ensures that you hold the correct posture in place for the duration of the exercise due its specific requirements to achieve balance. Sizes usually range from 45 to 85 cm, and most balls come with an air pump. Price= $20-$30.
Ankle weights provide great resistance during isolated exercises like hollow holds, V-ups, leg lifts, and bicycles. It achieves this by compelling your core to exert more energy to elevate your legs. There’s no limit to how you can use ankle weights because they can be enforced in almost every exercise. The weights can be purchased as low at .5 lbs to 10 lbs. They can be relatively easy to find in fitness stores or online. Price= $10-$20.
These durable straps connect to any regular pull-up bar and securely and safely keep your body in an upright position when doing workouts like leg lifts or off floor crunches. Ab straps support your body more effectively, allowing your core to tolerate more muscle strain without tiring out. And don’t worry about falling! Ab straps trademark steel carbineers for protection and security. Price= $15-$45
Core sliders will give you a killer workout and will leave you sore for days. They’re an efficient way to engage your abdominal muscles. It enhances your regular bodyweight workouts without actually adding any other weight. It challenges your body at another level, even for elite athletes, due to your muscles forcing themselves to resist the floor’s slippery surface. This will immeasurably improve your stability.
It’s your preference on whether you want to use them on your hands or feet. Some exercises you can do with core sliders are knee tucks, slider planks, mountain climbers, arm circles in a plank position, pike knee tucks, and more. Price= $10-$15.
Ab coasters completely reformed the fitness world’s way of abdominal training when it first came out. Ab coasters train your integral abdominal area with each rep you do. It accomplishes this by performing down to up motions and eliminating the hip-flexor movement, ensuring that only your core muscles work. It sustains good posture throughout the exercise by stabilizing your whole upper body. Price= $250-$300.
Ab benches are a simple yet effective piece of equipment if used properly. They enhance your basic workouts like sit-ups, Russian twists, and crunches rather than if you were to do them on the floor. Simply declining or inclining the bench adds resistance, which allows you to attack those abdominals. They’re comfortable to workout on and can last very long if maintained correctly. Price= $255-$350.
Time to Attack that Core!
As you can see, there are so many ways to engage and train your core muscles, which shows their importance. Building a strong core will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine, especially in the long run. Remember, these aren’t essential to have or buy, but they will motivate and encourage your body to work out in a more advanced and challenging way. I hope you can use this as a guide when you want to purchase core workout equipment. If you have any feedback you want to give me, please let me know!