As summer nears, it's the perfect time to turn up the heat on your fitness routine. 

This season, let's focus on carving out a set of solid and sculpted abs that will make you the star of any beach gathering. Get ready to challenge your core like never before with these dynamic and practical exercises.

How to Build Core Strength

When designing an effective core workout, consider these essential components:

  • Variety: Use a mix of exercises targeting different core areas for balanced strength.
  • Intensity: Increase workout intensity gradually to keep challenging your muscles.
  • Frequency: Aim for 3-4 core workouts per week for optimal results.
  • Progression: As you grow stronger, introduce more complex exercises or add repetitions.
  • Balance: Combine static holds and dynamic exercises to enhance strength and functionality.
  • Technique: Maintain proper form to maximize benefits and prevent injuries.

These guidelines will help you build a solid core workout routine that enhances strength, improves posture, and contributes to overall fitness.

How to Build Deep Core Strength Infographic

Best Core Exercises 

Now, let's dive into the top exercises that will transform your core and elevate your fitness this summer:

#1 Side Planks

Side planks are a fantastic way to engage your core and target the oblique muscles. 

Begin by lying on your side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and your legs stacked. Lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from head to heels. 

Engage your core muscles to maintain stability. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, then switch sides to ensure balanced development.

#2 Bird Dog

The bird dog exercise improves core stability and coordination by challenging your balance. 

Start on your hands and knees, then extend your right arm forward and left leg back while keeping your spine neutral. Focus on keeping your core engaged throughout the movement to prevent your hips from rotating. 

Hold the extended position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

#3 Dead Bugs

Dead bugs are an effective way to strengthen your deep core muscles while minimizing strain on your lower back. 

Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and legs in a tabletop position. Slowly lower one arm and the opposite leg towards the floor, maintaining tension in your core to prevent your lower back from lifting off the ground. 

Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, ensuring controlled movements to maximize effectiveness.

Two women performing shoulder touches | Ultimate Nutrition

#4 Plank Variations

Planks are a classic core exercise that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. 

Experiment with different variations, such as forearm planks, high planks, and planks with leg lifts to challenge your core from various angles. Focus on maintaining a straight line from head to heels and avoid sagging or lifting your hips. 

Aim to hold each plank variation for 30-60 seconds while actively engaging your core muscles.

#5 Ab Rollouts

Ab rollouts with an exercise wheel or stability ball are excellent for targeting the rectus abdominis and deep core muscles. 

Start kneeling with the wheel or ball in front of you. Roll forward while maintaining a straight spine until your arms are extended overhead, feeling a deep stretch in your abdominal muscles. Then, retract back to the starting position using your core muscles, avoiding excessive lower back arching.

#6 Russian Twists

Russian twists are a dynamic core exercise that targets the obliques and improves rotational strength. 

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet lifted off the ground, maintaining a solid posture. Hold a weight or medicine ball in front of your chest and rotate your torso from side to side, tapping the weight on the ground with each twist. 

Keep your core engaged throughout the movement to stabilize your spine and prevent excessive twisting.

A man performing mountain climber exercise | Ultimate Nutrition

#7 Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a high-intensity exercise that strengthens the entire core and improves cardiovascular endurance. 

Start in a plank position, then alternate, bringing your knees towards your chest in a running motion while keeping your core engaged. Focus on maintaining a steady pace and keeping your hips stable to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise. 

Aim to perform mountain climbers for 30-60 seconds as part of your core workout routine.

A woman performing bicycle crunches | Ultimate Nutrition

#8 Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are classic abdominal exercises targeting the obliques and rectus abdominis. 

Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and legs lifted off the ground, maintaining a slight knee bend. Alternate bringing your elbows towards your opposite knee in a bicycling motion while engaging your core muscles. 

Focus on controlled movements and avoid pulling on your neck to prevent strain.

#9 Leg Raises

Leg raises are an effective exercise for targeting the lower abdominal muscles. 

Lie on your back with your hands by your sides and legs straight. Lift your legs towards the ceiling while keeping them straight, focusing on using your lower abdominal muscles to lift your legs. Slowly lower them back down towards the floor without touching, maintaining tension in your core throughout the movement. 

Aim for controlled repetitions to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

#10 Abdominal Hollowing

Abdominal hollowing is foundational for learning how to engage your deep core muscles effectively. 

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Gently draw your navel towards your spine, feeling a deep contraction in your abdominal muscles. Hold this position for a few seconds while maintaining normal breathing, then release. Focus on isolating your deep core muscles without tensing your shoulders or legs. 

Repeat for several repetitions to improve core activation and stability.

A man performing a v sit crunch | Ultimate Nutrition

Build Deep Core Strength with Ultimate Nutrition

Ready to sculpt your core for the summer? Enhance your results with Ultimate Nutrition, your all-in-one resource for premium protein powders, expert fitness exercises, and informative blogs. Dive into our extensive collection to support every step of your fitness journey.

Let's make this your strongest summer yet!

The information provided in our articles are meant for informational and educational purposes exclusively and should not be considered as medical advice. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting a new nutritional product and/or making significant changes to your diet and/or starting a new exercise regime. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, and/or prevent disease.

UN Editorial Team