It’s not news that planks and crunches are key ab workouts, but you might not realize how many other exercises rely on a strong core to be executed properly. Because it’s the stabilizer of your body’s many movements, having a strong and stable core will make your everyday actions a lot easier.

Single leg deadlifts

To complete the single leg deadlift you must stand on one leg and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell on that same side. You then bend at the hip, extending your free leg behind you for balance and continue to lower the weight until you are parallel to the ground. Deadlifts are a great exercise all around and when you add the challenge of balancing on one leg, your body works harder to keep balance and alignment with your spine.

Battle ropes

Battle ropes are a great alternative for cardio and offer the added bonus of being a great strength workout as well. Any exercise you choose to do with the ropes that has you planted in place means you have the opportunity to use your core to stabilize your torso while your arms control the movement of the ropes. In order for your arms, chest and back to get the optimal workout, your core needs to be constantly engaged to keep the rest of your body as straight and solid as possible.

Rowing machine

Rowing is a full body workout that engages your legs, back and shoulders. You might think it’s all in the upper body, but a good 60 percent of the action is happening in the legs. Another sneaky 20 percent of the work is thanks to your (you guessed it) core. If you think about the action of a rowing machine, you’re almost doing a crunch between the reach and the pulling actions. Plus, you’re not only working the abdominal part of your core, but your lower back as well. Keeping these two areas engaged and strong will help avoid injuring your back while rowing.