How To Strengthen Your Weak Core Muscles? (Signs And Exercises)

Shayla Whitter

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Strong core strength will help you build a strong core. A strong core helps in almost every physical activity, from holding your body upright while walking or running to lifting and jumping activities. 

Weak core muscles can cause poor posture, injuries and reduce overall athletic efficiency. To avoid weak core strength, it is essential to know the core muscles. 

The core includes all the muscles in your spinal column as well as parts of the abdomen and hips that support your spine. 

These core muscles have diverse functions including controlling posture, stabilising joints, and providing support during movement. A strong core helps with overall muscle tone throughout the core region.

The core muscles can be divided into two groups: the core front muscles and the core back muscles. The muscles at the front of your body include your pubic area, abdominal region (transversus abdominis), and lower abdomen (obliques).

These core muscles help to strengthen your core when you contract them together. Common core back muscles include your lower back (lumbopelvic core), stomach (solar plexus), and middle spine to lower spine (erector spinae). 

When you contract these core muscles, they provide stabilisation as well as help with pressure relief.

In this article, we will discuss the ten signs of weak core muscles and how to fix them.

What Are The Signs Of Weak Core Muscles?

You Feel Lower Back Pain

Pain in the lower back is one of the common weak core signs. A strong core will support your spine and help prevent injuries to it. 

However, weak core muscles may cause you to develop a swayback posture which can cause discomfort or pain in your lower back.

You Feel Lack Power And Stability In Your Upper Body Strength

A weak core will make it difficult to do pull-ups and other upper body exercises and sports like weightlifting, throwing a ball, or swinging a bat. 

This is because core muscles help stabilise your core which provides the foundation for power in your upper body. Weak core muscles may also lead to overuse injuries as you try harder to compensate for core weakness.

You Feel Lack Balance And Stability In Your Lower Body Strength 

A strong core will help support your lower body strength by providing a stable base on which your core and upper body work together. 

Weak core muscles may cause poor coordination and balance. Weak core muscles can also make it more difficult for you to do core stability exercises such as the plank.

Floor Lying Spine Sag

This core strength test involves lying on the floor with your knees bent, hands down at your side, and your spine resting on an imaginary line. 

If your core muscles are weak, you will find yourself sagging towards the ground. Picture a clothesline that is sagging under the weight of wet, heavy clothes. A strong core will allow you to lay on a flat surface without sagging much.

Your Stomach Is Sticking Out More Than Usual

If you have weak core muscles, you may even find that your stomach sticks out further than your chest. 

This core strength sign is an indication of loss of core tone and a weak core. This core strength sign can be caused by core muscle weakness, pregnancy, or an increase in body fat around your core.

Your Back And Shoulder Sagging And Tightness While Weightlifting

When core muscles are weak, you will need to use your back muscles (erector spinae) to help keep your core stable. 

This can lead to back pain and poor scapular movement. It can also cause your shoulders to tighten up when you lift.

You Feel Difficulty Rising From A Squat Without Using Hands For Assistance

A sign of a weak core can be that you have difficulty squatting. This is because core muscles help to support the spine while squatting and without them, it may be difficult or painful to do so.

Walking Struggle: Swaying Sideways With Difficulty

A strong core will allow you to walk upright without your hips or upper body swaying side-to-side. A weak core may cause poor posture and also make it difficult to balance when your core muscles are not strong enough.

You Feel Pain in Your Lower Abdomen 

Pain in your core muscles can be a sign that your core is weak and needs strengthening. This pain may occur in your lower abdomen or back muscles.

You Have Difficulty With Everyday Tasks That Require Core Strength

Weak core not only impacts your training, but it also has a negative impact on your daily activities. Even minor tasks like carrying grocery bags, holding a child, or some weight seems burdensome. 

Moreover, core strength activities like paddling a kayak or playing a sport become tiring. If you find difficulty in walking up the stairs, surely your core muscles are weak. 

To carry out routine activities without any pain or uneasiness, you need to work on the stability of your spine. 

Different core stabilising exercises are available to strengthen your core muscles. Once you attain stable core muscles, then it becomes convenient to perform core strengthening exercises without less burden on your body. 

Also Read: 5 Barbell Exercises That Men Over 50 Should Avoid

Best Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Weak Core Muscles

Here are some core strength exercises that will strengthen the core muscles:

V Sit Ups

V sit-ups target different core muscles at a time. This exercise forms V shape alignment with your legs and torso. Initially, if you find it hard to attain the perfect V-shape, you can use your hands to support your body. 

You can perform V sit-up exercises with bent legs. This exercise is good for intermediate-level abdominal and core muscles. 

  • Start by contracting your abdominal muscles and gradually tense up the core muscles. Bring your legs at an angle of 45 degrees with your torso. 
  • Bring your arms forward towards your shins to the maximum capacity. Avoid rounding your shoulder to keep a good posture. Continue deep breathing throughout the exercise. 
  • Hold your body in a V shape for a while if you are a beginner. Increase the time as your muscle gets strong. 
  • Return to the starting position engaging your abs. 

If you are someone with lower back pain try using an ab mat to relieve your back pain. The mat is covered with foam that specifically provides support to your spine and maintains your body at a good angle. 

Hanging Knee Raises

Hanging knee or leg raises work best for abs, lower back, and hip flexor strengthening. This core strengthening exercise involves all the muscles at a time. 

  • Hang your body from a pull-up bar or gymnastic ring in a straight line. Use an overhand grip. 
  • Raise your legs using your lower abs, and bend your knees. Thighs are parallel to the ground when you reach the maximum limit. 
  • Slightly lower your legs and get back to the starting position. 
  • Focus on slower rep sets instead of high reps to preserve your energy and gain speedy results. 

Hanging knee or leg raises can be done with different variations like, hanging oblique knee raises and hanging trunk rotation

If you want more comfort in performing this exercise, you can use ab straps to support your core muscles. The hanging ab straps will shift all your focus to the core muscles and help you perform better. 


Plank is one of the best core strengthening exercises. It targets your core by involving your abdominal, lower back, and shoulder muscles. While performing a plank, your core muscles support the spine to achieve perfect plank posture.  

  • Lay down your forearms on a flat surface, keep your elbows right under your shoulders while your hands facing forward. Make sure you are forming a ninety-degree angle. 
  • For a plank, you have to keep your back straight. Shift your weight on the toes and elbows. 
  • The rest of the body parts like, your head, shoulders, knees, hips, and ankles are in a straight line.
  • Avoid bowing down your back while holding yourself in a plank position.

Ab Wheel Rollout

If you want to target your abs, arms, and shoulders, then the Ab wheel rollout is the best exercise. This exercise not only involves your core muscles, but also burns fat from your body. 

Ab wheel rollout involves almost 20 muscles of the body other than your abs. To do this exercise accurately, major muscles of your body collectively contribute.

  • Kneel on the floor, and keep your hands on the ab roller. 
  • Make sure the ab roller is in front of you. Stretch your body while slowly rolling the ab roller. Keep the rest of your body straight. 
  • Pause for a bit and then repeat the whole movement. 

Final Words

If you are finding it hard to carry out daily activities, standing, climbing up the stairs, or simply walking is difficult, then you are a victim of weak core muscles. 

Your body’s posture and overall strength is determined by the strength of the core muscles. So, you can resolve this problem with the help of exercises. 

Strength training exercises targeting your core muscles have improved the functionality and workout performance of many individuals. So, focus on the core strengthening exercises to get positive results. 

As a beginner, if you are finding it hard to perform these exercises, start with minimum reps and gradually increase the duration. 

And if you are having lower back pain ,then consult an orthopaedic or physiotherapist in case of problem.

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