Health and Beauty

4 simple and effective exercises to strengthen the heart

A new training strategy that will allow you to work on the “base” effortlessly and manage your time better, that's what I offer you in this article!

What is the essence?

“Core” is an English word meaning “nucleus” or “center.” It is used to name the entire muscular area surrounding the body's center of gravity, which is generally located below the navel.

The core is not just a six-pack (rectus abdominis muscle), it is a group of muscles that surround the central part of the body and work in harmony.

What muscles does it form?

This core corresponds to the anterolateral abdominal muscles (rectus, external obliques, internal obliques, transverse), erector spinae, pelvic muscles, glutes and deep spine.

What is it used for?

In addition to protecting the internal organs, a strong core ensures better stability and postural control. A strong core provides greater efficiency in your daily movements and during your exercise. These exercises also provide aesthetic benefits to the abdominal area.

In addition, cardio work also provides health benefits. In fact, scientific research(1) It has been shown that in the short term, specific core training is more effective than general training in reducing low back pain.

A small core training routine will improve muscle resistance and can prevent various health problems such as sciatica and lower back pain due to muscular weakness in the abdominal muscles. Various pelvic floor disorders such as prolapse or genital pain can also be prevented through regular exercise.

How to work on it?

These exercises should be performed in a controlled and gentle manner. In order to improve muscular resistance, it is recommended to hold the pose for fairly long periods (15 seconds for beginners and more than 1 minute for experienced people).

Introducing small difficulties during exercise by seeking to unbalance the body will increase the intensity of the exercise and stimulate your proprioceptive system.

Basic exercises can be performed every day, and the recommended frequency is three days a week.

New training strategy

Since these exercises are often forgotten, postponed or left until the end of training, I offer you a new strategy that will allow you to work core effortlessly and better yet: optimize your time.

For some people, especially beginners, it is not easy to maintain the effort for a long time. As a result, essential work can be a real ordeal. However, if you can shift your attention to something else, it may help you deal with the pain better.

Other disciplines such as yoga, for example, use breathing to maintain poses for several minutes.

Like yoga, I offer you a new exercise strategy to distract you, which involves incorporating simple tasks of daily life while performing exercises.

Examples of this include reading the newspaper, calling a friend on the phone, or using social networks while performing an exercise routine. Systematically linking exercise to a specific task can help you not to forget core work, reduce effort, and also manage your time better.

Exercise 1: Plank

The plank is a traditional muscle-strengthening exercise that consists of positioning yourself facing the floor and resting on your toes and forearms. The “legs, pelvis and torso” part is aligned and the elbows are directly above the shoulders.

For greater intensity, you can straighten your arms and support can be provided with just the hands and toes.

On the other hand, to reduce the difficulty we can put our knees on the floor. With this situation, it is possible to take the opportunity to read a few pages of our favorite novel or to stay informed by reading articles from a daily newspaper or magazine!

It is recommended to stay in this static position for about a minute and repeat this effort three times. Rest times between sets are usually one minute. For beginners, I advise you to start by holding the position for 15 seconds and then gradually increase the working time.


  • 3 sets of 1 minute;
  • 1 minute break between sets.
The plank exercise for the abdominal muscles is excellent for strengthening the abdominal muscles.
Image source © Pamela Reeve

Exercise 2: Side plank

Lie on your side, resting on one foot and forearm, and lift your pelvis to position it in the same axis as your legs and torso. The entire body should be well aligned and the elbow should be directly above the shoulder.

As with the “plank”, the supports can be changed in order to adjust the density. This mode allows you to have one hand free, so you can take advantage of it to call your best friend, or a loved one whom you want to call for a long time to get news or simply listen to their voicemail.

It is recommended to stay in this static position for approximately 30 seconds and repeat the effort twice for each side. Rest times between sets range from 45 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your needs.

If it's too difficult, I recommend starting by holding the pose for 10 seconds and gradually increasing the working time according to your tolerance.

To increase the difficulty, you can hold your support with only your hand. This will add extra work to stabilize the shoulder girdle.


  • 2 sets of 30 seconds;
  • 1 minute break between sets.
Core training: 4 simple and effective exercises to strengthen your heart
The side plank allows you to work your abdominal muscles by targeting your obliques more.
Image rights © Adobe Stock

Exercise 3: Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet parallel and hip-width apart, lift your pelvis with your shoulder blades supported and your feet flat on the floor.

Lift your hips until you form a straight line between your knees, hips and shoulders. With your pelvis raised in the air and without changing your body position, at the same time contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to hold back the urge to urinate.

You can start with 5 seconds and increase the time as you go. Make sure to hold the bridge position for about a minute, depending on your form.

Optimize your time and take the opportunity to read a few lines of a novel on your e-book or surf the Internet using your tablet.

I advise you to repeat this exercise three times, taking a one-minute break between sets.


  • 3 sets of 1 minute;
  • 1 minute break between sets.
Coeur Pamela Reef Bridge
Bridge pose
Image source © Pamela Reeve

Fourth exercise: The boat

In a seated position, tilt your torso back about 45 degrees, and bend your knees as you lift your feet off the floor. Find your balance point and keep your back straight. To make the exercise easier, place your feet on the floor with your knees bent.

When maintaining this position seems easier, you can simultaneously watch a video on YouTube, or consult some publications on your social networks by holding your smartphone in front of you with your hands.

We recommend holding this position for about a minute, depending on your endurance. Repeat three times with a one-minute rest between sets.


  • 3 sets of 1 minute;
  • 1 minute break between sets.
Boat Pose Basic Exercise
Boat exercise position
Image rights © Adobe Stock

4 simple and effective exercises to strengthen the heart

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