How to build your core performance

22 Jun 2015


The core is the group of muscles in your abdomen, back, and pelvis. Building your core muscles is one of the best ways to increase not only your performance, but it will also leverage your agility and endurance during your everyday. Core exercises are able to be done anytime, anywhere. All they require is a flat surface such as a training mat or grass field. Training your core is one of the quickest and easiest ways to break #NewGround. Here’s how:

This exercise improves your posture and gives your entire mid-section a workout.

Targeted muscles: obliques (inner and outer), rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus.


  • Sit on the ground with your knees bent while keeping your feet flat on the ground.
  • Lean back until your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor. It is important to keep your spine straight.
  • Hold your arms in front of your chest, one hand on top of the other. For a harder workout, move your arms away from your chest or hold weights.
  • Rotate your torso to the left as far as you can and pause, and then rotate as far to the right and pause.
  • To increase the difficulty, raise your feet off the ground slightly (as pictured).
  • Repeat.

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The best known of the core exercises, crunches are the easiest core exercise to learn.

Targeted muscles: obliques (inner and outer), rectus abdominus.


  • Lie face up on the floor with knees bent.
  • Keep hands behind neck or crossed over the chest.
  • Sit up by curling your shoulders towards your pelvis, keep lower back on the floor and avoid using hips.
  • Lower back down to original position.
  • Avoid pushing your neck with your hands. Movement should only come from the core.
  • Repeat.

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Great for a lower abdominal and hip flexor workout, leg raises also strengthen the lower back.

Targeted muscles: Lower abdominals, hip flexors.


  • Lie face up on the floor with legs straight.
  • Place hands face down on the floor or crossed over behind your head.
  • Slowly raise legs to be perpendicular with the floor and body.
  • Pause, and then bring legs down slowly.
  • Repeat.

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Bicycle crunches target the largest amount of core muscles while also toning your thighs.

Targeted muscles: pectorals major, rectus abdominals, obliques (inner and outer), transverse abdominals, hip adductors, gluteus maximus.


  • Lie face up on the floor with legs straight and arm behind head.
  • Lift your knees to a 45 degree angle and do a bicycle pedal motion.
  • Perform a crunch manoeuvre while bringing your left elbow to your right knee and vice-versa. Knee not being touched should remain straight. Keep feet off the ground.
  • Keep elbows back behind head, do not push them too forward.
  • Avoid pushing your neck with your hands. Movement should only come from the core.
  • Repeat.

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Typically, the amount you repeat an exercise is based upon your current fitness level. No matter how many reps you do, you want to get to the point where your body physically cannot do another. If you’re just beginning, doing five repetitions is a fantastic effort. If you’re already in great shape, fifty reps might be an achievable goal.

Now get out there, find your own space and get started. You’re only moments away from pushing your body further, and breaking your own #NewGround.