A muscular and well-defined core shows both strength and health. The best core exercises may surprise you. It's not enough to just do ab crunches and sit ups. To build a strong core you need to exercise a variety of muscles, from your hips to your shoulders.Core-strength exercises strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many physical activities. Abdominal Crunch The abdominal crunch is a popular exercise, effectively targeting the abdominals as well as the oblique muscles which run down the side of the abdomen. For those looking to reduce fat around the stomach and hips, the crunch is a great exercise for developing the abdominal muscles. Place mat on the floor. Lay on the mat, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend arms at elbow and place hands close to your ears. Keep a gap between your chin and your chest throughout, so your neck remains in a neutral position Plank This one is a “must” on any list of classic core strengthening exercises for beginners because it works. The plank is an exercise that works the body’s core, specifically the abdominal muscles and lower back.Begin on the floor, supporting your weight on your elbows, which should be directly under your shoulders. Extend your legs straight out behind you, as you press into your heels. Tighten your core and keep your back straight. Hold this position. Side Plank The side plank is a full-body core exercise that utilizes a static position to develop strength. To perform a side plank, Lie on your side, with your weight on your right elbow, which should be aligned directly under your right shoulder, and your knees bent. Tighten your core and lift your hips off the ground. Hold this position. Switch sides when the rep is complete. To make this more challenging, perform the plank with straight legs. Bird Dog It is responsible for extending, flexing, and rotating the spine and neck. But that's not the only muscle it works, as the move also involves the gluteus Maximus muscle of the buttocks. Balance on hands and knees. Lift right leg and left arm, extending right leg to the rear and reaching forward with left arm. Hold. Repeat with opposite arm and leg. Russian Twist This core exercise is a good workout for the whole abdomen. It strengthens the rectus abdominal, internal oblique, and the external obliques.It reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases like strokes and heart attacks. Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees. Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you perpendicular to your torso and with the hands clasped. This is the starting position. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out. Hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing out. Now move to the opposite side performing the same techniques you applied to the right side. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. Quadruped This core-strength exercise is a dynamic full-body exercise that engages the core and helps train your coordination and balance.Start on your hands and knees. Place your hands directly below your shoulders, and align your head and neck with your back Tighten your abdominal muscles. Raise your right arm off the floor and reach ahead Hold for three deep breaths. Lower your right arm and repeat with your left arm.Raise your right leg off the floor Tighten your trunk muscles for balance. Hold for three deep breaths. Lower your right leg and repeat with your left leg. For added challenge raise your left arm and your right leg at the same time Repeat with your right arm and left leg.