Strengthen Your Core Without Crunches - Buffalo Rehab Group
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JOIN THE 2024 YMCA WELLNESS SERIES

Want to strengthen your core? Try this exercise progression.

Normally, when people think about exercises for core strength, they think about crunches.

This bridge progression targets your core, glutes, low back, and pelvic floor — without crunching!

The Importance of Core Strength

Before we delve into the exercises, let’s highlight why core strength is essential.

Your core serves as the central support system for your body, comprising muscles in your abdomen, back, pelvis, and hips. A strong core provides stability and balance, enhances posture, and supports proper movement patterns.

Additionally, a stable core reduces the risk of injury, particularly in the lower back, by distributing stress evenly throughout the body during physical activities.

Bridge

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Engage your core muscles by gently pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  • Press through your heels as you lift your hips off the ground.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, then lower your hips back down with control.
  • Complete 10 repetitions for two to three sets.

Bridge with a Belt

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • To target your low back and outer hips, take any type of belt and wrap it around the outside of your legs. Once it’s in place, push out against the belt. This pushing activates your glute muscles.
  • While still pushing outward, drive through your heels and lift your hips off the ground.
  • Complete 10 repetitions for two to three sets.

Bridge with a Ball

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • To target your pelvic floor, gently squeeze a ball between your knees.
  • While continuing to squeeze inward, push through your heels and raise your hips off the ground.
  • Complete 10 repetitions for two to three sets.

Want to learn more exercises to improve core strength?

If so, sign up for our 2024 YMCA Wellness Series class, “Core & Pelvic Health for Women,” on Tuesday, March 5th at 7:00PM. This physical therapist-led class will help you build core strength and improve your pelvic health.

Registration is free, class is held online, and a replay link will be readily available. Click below to register:

Register for Free