5 Core Exercises that Make You Better at Push Ups

Most people can’t perform push ups properly because of a weak core. They may press up and down, but their hips are sinking, which can hurt their spines. You need a strong core in order to keep your hips, shoulders and knees aligned while you’re doing push ups.

In fact, if you strengthen your core you’ll reap many benefits beyond doing better push ups. You will become a better runner, since core strength improves posture and stability while running.  Most of the exercises you find challenging now will become very doable. Improving core strength can even lower your stress levels.

Once you strengthen your core, remember to keep your ab and butt muscles tight while doing push ups. Below are some of the exercises you can use to strengthen your core.

5 Core Exercises that Make You Better at Push Ups

1. Heel Touches

Most beginners should be able to do this exercise. It targets the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles.

How to Perform

  • Lie on your back and keep your knees bent. Make sure your heels a few inches away from your butt.
  • Lift your head off the floor and keep your hands straight beside your torso.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and then twist your torso to the right until your right arm touches the heel.
  • Return to starting position and touch the left heel with the left arm while keeping your ab muscles tight.

2. Plank Knee Tuck with a Twist

You need arm strength to perform push ups properly. This exercise will strengthen your arms and core muscles at the same time.

How to Perform

  • Get in the straight-arm plank position and keep your hips, shoulders, and knees aligned in a straight line.
  • Bend the right knee and tuck it in toward your chest then twist it to the right side before returning it to starting position.
  • Repeat the same movement with the right leg and keep alternating the feet after each rep.

3. Sitting Twists

This exercise will activate your entire midsection if you do it properly.

How to Perform

  • Sit on the floor and keep both feet bent. Clasp your hands in front of your belly.
  • Lean back such that your lower back is 45 degrees off the floor and keep the back straight.
  • Twist your torso to the left as you bring both hands to touch the floor. Then take your hands to the right side of the floor as you twist the torso. Keep twisting your torso from side to side.
  • Lift your feet off the floor to make sitting twists more challenging.

4. Standing Rear Leg Kicks

Did you know that squeezing your butt helps keep your body aligned in a straight line while doing push ups? This exercise will strengthen your butt muscles.

How to Perform

  • Stand upright and keep your feet close together.
  • Lift one leg off the floor and then squeeze your butt as you kick it back. Keep the leg straight.
  • Return the leg to starting position and then kick back the right foot.
  • Avoid leaning forward as you kick the feet back. Keep your torso upright throughout.

5. Plank to Lunges

Other than strengthening your ab and lower back muscles, this exercise will build your quadriceps and glute muscles.

How to Perform

  • Start in the straight-arm plank position.
  • Bring the right foot beside the right arm to get in the lunge position.
  • Lift both hands off the floor and rise until you arch your back.
  • Return both hands to the floor and kick the foot back to starting position.
  • Repeat this movement with the left foot and keep alternating the feet after each rep.

Images via Getty

39 comments

Leo C
Leo Custer20 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Janis K
Janis K21 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Janet B
Janet B21 days ago

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Lisa M
Lisa M21 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M21 days ago

Thanks.

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Leo C
Leo Custer21 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Mike R
Mike R21 days ago

Thanks

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Tania N
Tania N21 days ago

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Tania N
Tania N21 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Danuta W
Danuta W22 days ago

thanks for sharing

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