You’ve probably heard that a strong core is essential to good health. Your body’s core muscles include the abdominal and lower back muscles, which support your spine and allow you to do everyday activities like sitting, walking, and standing. Needless to say, weak core muscles can make these routine activities difficult -- and lead to bad posture, backaches, and even injury.

In this article, we’ll show you how to strengthen your core with exercises that target hard-to-reach muscles from a variety of angles. The first exercise is a single leg kick. Don't arch your lower back during this move; keep it pressed to the floor to prevent injury.

Step 1

Assume start position by lying on floor and holding head, neck, and top of back off the floor.

Step 2

Keeping both legs straight, lift one up toward the ceiling while keeping one hovered above the floor.

Step 3

Gently pull behind the leg that is pointed up toward the ceiling, then switch back to the other leg.

Step 4

Keep your lower back pressed into the floor and keep your abs contracted.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check out: