Who doesn’t want a tight and toned core, and perhaps abs that pop? In addition to looking great, a strong core really cuts down on back soreness and aches and pains, so core training isn’t just vanity, it’s healthy!

Here are some of our favorite core-strengthening exercises to get you baring your belly and standing straighter than ever.

1. Supermans

Move Targets: Lower lumbar muscles and abdominals

Step 1: Start by lying face down and extending your arms out in front of you.

Step 2: Press your shoulder blades together and lift your arms, chest, and legs off the floor.

Step 3: Hold position for 60 seconds, keeping your head up and your arms extended out in front of you.

Modification (Beginner): Lift just your legs and chest for 30 seconds and then lift just your arms for 30 seconds.

2. Bicycle Crunches

Not only does this move target your abs, but it also gets your hip flexors and glutes! Remember to engage your core instead of pulling with your neck or back. Click here to learn how to do bicycle crunches.

Move Targets: Abdominals, hip flexors and gluteus

Step 1: Lie on back with knees and hips at a 90-degree angle. Place hands behind your head. Exhale as you lift head and shoulders off the floor. Twist torso to the right, bringing left shoulder in to touch your right knee. Keep left leg straight and lifted off the floor.

Step 2: Inhale as you slowly lower. Repeat, twisting torso to the left. Continue alternating sides for 60 seconds.

Modification (Beginner): Feet can return to the floor after each rep.

3. Toe Touch

Again, make sure you’re engaging your core, not your neck. If you’re feeling a pull in your neck, refocus your energy into your abs.

Move Targets: Core

Step 1: Lie on your back, extend your arms and lift your legs until your heels are facing the ceiling.

Step 2: Keeping your legs straight, lift your shoulders off the floor and try to touch your feet. Repeat this move for 60 seconds. Make sure you’re using your core to lift your shoulder blades off the mat. If you feel the strain in your neck, you need to focus the movement in your core.

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