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    Core Workouts That Really Work

    Have you wanted to get back your six-pack, but just haven't made it happen? Core muscle strength is essential for good balance and posture. Try these core exercises to improve your strength.
    Do the good old sit up and crunch routine. These two oldies but goodies will make a difference. Make sure you ground your lower back, gently support your neck with your fingertips, and lift and lower slowly and steadily, without jerking, as you sit all the way up for sit ups and lift partway for crunches.

    Pretend to ride your bicycle for a great ab and oblique workout. Start out in the same position as a traditional sit up, but lift your legs in the air and bend them at 90-degree angles. Lift your upper body and touch your opposing elbow and knee. Then relax that side and lift the other elbow to the opposing knee. Continue this movement in a smooth pattern.

    Tighten your abs by using your core muscles to lift and lower your legs in a controlled motion. Stay on your back, with your legs straight out and your arms by your side or extended. Tighten your core muscles and use them to slowly lift your legs into a letter L position, making sure to always keep your lower back pressed safely against the floor. Concentrating on your stomach muscles, slowly lower your legs until they touch the ground.

    Get solid abs by acting like a plank. Roll over so you are on your stomach and place your hands directly under your shoulders. Start out by using your arms to lift you into a push up position, but then freeze, engaging your ab muscles and making sure your back is straight. Stay in that plank position for an extended hold, and then let yourself relax into the beginning position and take a short break before doing it again.

    Exercise while you work by sitting on an exercise ball. Make sure you use your core muscles to stay balanced as you work on your computer.

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