Exercises to Strengthen Core

Exercises to Strengthen Core

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Man doing push-ups

You probably know all about ways to exercise without getting injured, but there are also exercises that actually keep you from getting injured in other circumstances. To understand why some exercises can help you keep injury-free, you need to understand how most injuries arise. Many people get injured because they strain themselves or are not strong enough to complete a certain task. By working to strengthen core areas, you can reduce your overall changes of getting hurt.

Back and Core Exercises

Back problems are a common issue for many people. Throughout your life, you’ll put a lot of strain on your back. The best way to compensate is by ensuring that your back muscles are strong and that your spine is well-supported. Strengthening your core muscles will also help your back’s health.

To prevent back injuries, you’ll want to work out your back, lower back and abdominals.

Free weight exercises:

  • Bent-over Row. Bend over your bench and start with an arm extended towards. Pull the free weight towards yourself.
  • Abdominal Crunches. Simply lie on your back and curl your body up towards your center.

Machine exercises:

  • Rowing Machine. This machine mimics the motion of rowing, working out both your back and your arms.
  • Pull Down. This machine works out your back by having you pull a bar downwards.
  • Lower Back Extension. This machine lets you exercise your lower back by stepping in it, curling downwards and then raising yourself back up.

Shoulder and Arm Exercises

When lifting items or doing other forms of difficult labor, shoulders and arms will commonly get injured. Shoulder injuries, such as dislocated shoulders, are a very common form of injury. Ensuring that the muscles in your shoulders and arms are strong is a good way to protect your joints, as it helps reduce the risk that your arms will move in the incorrect fashion.

Free weight exercises:

  • Bent-over Row. Bend over your bench and start with an arm extended towards. Pull the free weight towards yourself.
  • Bicep Curl. Simply hold a free weight in one hand and curl your bicep towards yourself.
  • Shoulder Raise. Hold a free weight in each hand. Slowly raise your arms up on each side.
  • Push Ups. Lie on the floor with your hands beneath you, and slowly raise yourself with your arms. Fully extend your arms before completing each push up.

Thigh and Calf Exercises

Knees are another common injury, as are torn muscles within the leg. These injuries can happen at unexpected times, such as by simply turning incorrectly. Strengthening your entire leg is an excellent way to support your joints and lower your risk of injury.

Free weight exercises:

  • Leg Extension. Sit on a bench and start with your leg in resting position with weight attached. Raise your leg fully.
  • Calf Raise. Stand flat on your feet. Slowly raise yourself up onto your toes. You can repeat this while holding weights for additional resistance.
  • Leg Press Machine. This machine works out your entire lower body by having you squat and then push on a certain amount of weight.
  • Hamstring Curl. This machine works out the back of your legs, which often get strained. You lie in it upside down and then curl your legs upwards.

When completing these exercises, you usually want to do around 3 sets. Each set should contain anywhere from six to twelve repetitions depending on the amount of weight that you’re using. In general, you want to keep performing repetitions until you simply cannot do another one.¬†Exercises aren’t the only way that you can reduce the possibility of physical injury. Remember never to lift with your back and always to follow the proper safety protocols. If something seems heavy, don’t be afraid to ask for help lifting it. You should also use ladders and step stools cautiously to avoid any potential falls, as this is one thing that your muscles won’t help you with. Before exercising, always stretch properly.

Rebecca Wallace

Rebecca is always looking for ways to incorporate fitness into everyday life. She hopes to inspire others to live healthy and balanced lifestyles. If you have any questions or suggestions, email her at

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