What are the Best Tips to Tone Your Core?

Marjorie McAtee

If you want to tone your core, then your abdominal fitness plan will probably need to include more than just a few crunches. A healthy diet and aerobic exercise are considered just as important for core toning as are exercises that isolate the abdomen. Performing abdominal exercises with care and attention to proper form can help to make them more effective. Stretching, resting, and maintaining good posture can all help to tone the body's core. Exercises intended to strengthen the legs, hips, shoulders, back and arms may also tone your core, and should be considered as part of a good core toning workout.

The muscles of the lower back are part of the body's core.
The muscles of the lower back are part of the body's core.

Experts typically stress the value of a healthy, nutritious diet to core toning. Isolation exercises may strengthen the muscles of the abdomen and core, but abdominal fat can hide those toned muscles. Eating a healthy diet may help keep excess weight off of the abdomen and the rest of the body.

Jogging provides an aerobic workout.
Jogging provides an aerobic workout.

Aerobic exercises such as jogging, cycling, and swimming are also considered crucial to core strength. Aerobic exercises help to burn body fat and can improve cardiovascular endurance. They can also strengthen the legs, hips, abdomen, shoulders, and back. All of these muscle groups are considered core muscle groups. Strengthening them, therefore, helps to tone your core.

Healthy diet and aerobic exercise are just as important as abdomen-specific exercises when toning the core.
Healthy diet and aerobic exercise are just as important as abdomen-specific exercises when toning the core.

Isolating the abdomen and other core muscles with specific exercises is considered a great way to tone your core. Bicycle crunches are believed to be an excellent way to tone abs. Weight and strength training exercises can help to strengthen the legs, arms, shoulders, hips, and back. The yoga pose known as "plank" may be of particular benefit in strengthening the muscles of the abdomen, arms, shoulders, and back.

Swimming engages the whole body, including the core.
Swimming engages the whole body, including the core.

When performing any strength training exercises, engage your core to help strengthen the muscles there. Be careful to perform all abdominal and other exercises properly, with good form. Poor form can make exercises less effective. It can also increase the risk of injury. Be sure to stretch before and after workouts. When you exercise without stretching, muscles can shorten, leading to stiffness.

Abdominal exercises can build muscle, but do not have much affect on fat content.
Abdominal exercises can build muscle, but do not have much affect on fat content.

Fitness professionals generally recommend that you not perform a core toning routine every day. Muscles typically need time to recover from exercise. Resting for at least 24 to 48 hours between workouts is recommended. When you aren't toning your core, try to maintain good posture at all times. Good posture is considered crucial to maintaining core strength, as it works the muscles of the hips and back.

Stretching can help to tone the body's core.
Stretching can help to tone the body's core.

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