Why is it hard to engage my core?

It can feel confusing to engage your core during ab workouts because there’s so much movement going on in the torso. However, you can look out for signs that you need to brace, the most common sign being hyperextension—also known as arching your back.

What happens if I don’t engage my core?

(If you don’t engage your core, you can revert to a more anterior pelvic tilt, where your butt’s popped out and your back is arched, which ultimately puts a lot of pressure on the lower back.) Engaging your core also helps you cut down on over-relying on other muscles to get the power you need to crush each exercise.

How do I improve my core engagement?

One good way to start is to inhale, and as you’re doing that, imagine you’re bringing your belly button toward your spine. Hold your muscles tight in that position for a few seconds. This feeling of braced stomach muscles is what it feels like to engage — or tighten — your core.

How do I activate my core?

Start on your back with your knees bent. Keep your feet and knees hip width apart. Keep your pelvis as still as possible activate your TA and let your one knee drop to the side. Bring it back to the middle and repeat with the other side. Do at least 5 on each side.