When it comes to core work, your abdominals should be engaged no matter what body part you are focusing on. That way, your body is ready for anything since your strength comes outward from the middle.

When it comes to focusing on your core you want variety, to strengthen from every angle.

Our move today offers a challenge as well.

It is a side plank crunch. You will need a flat surface and a lot of balance.

Begin this move by lying on your side. Elevate your upper body by placing your hand on the ground and extending your arm. Extend both legs out straight with both feet staggered on the ground. Keep your hips elevated and engage your core. Place your free hand gently behind your head with the elbow extended.

Begin by lifting the bottom leg up by bending the knee into the midsection. At the same time, twist in the middle and direct the elbow toward your knee, creating a diagonal crunch.

Once you reach your fullest contraction return to the starting position. Shoot for at least 8 to 10 on each side for at least three sets.

If your balance isn’t up to par, keep your lower body propped on your knees and just use the upper portion to execute the crunch.

This exercise is a great finisher to any abdominal workout routine.

— Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.