Developing core strength is essential for everyday health and well-being, as a strong core protects the spine, reduces back pain, enhances movement patterns, and improves balance, stability and posture.
The best way to get a strong core is to overload it with exercises that require stabilisation. The exercises provided in this workout train neutral spine and pelvis positions under load according to the core’s following functions.
Before diving into the prescribed exercises you should have a basic level of core stability and strength to complete this workout successfully – and safely.
The following seven core stability exercises can be added to your current workout routine. The following seven core stability exercises can be added to your current workout routine. If some of these exercises feel too challenging, try the regressed version given in italics. If the featured equipment is not available, use your own body weight.
BOSU Bird Dog:
- Set your right knee on the centre of the dome and place both hands on the floor underneath the shoulders.
- Extend the left leg behind you to hip height; keep the foot flexed.
- Raise the right arm to shoulder height with your thumb facing the ceiling.
- Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides.
Supine Toe Taps:
- Lie on your back and place your arms by your sides.
- Engage the abdominals and draw the navel toward your spine.
- Lift the knees to 90 degrees.
- On a two-count, lower your right foot to touch the floor, and on a two-count, return it back to 90 degrees.
- Perform the same movement with your left leg and continue to alternate tapping the right and then the left foot onto the floor.
- Perform 10 reps on each leg.
Marching Hip Bridge:
- Lie on your back and place your hands by your sides.
- Lift the hips and hold a hip bridge.
- Lift the right foot off the floor to 90 degrees at the hip and knee.
- Return the foot onto the floor and then lift the left foot to 90 degrees; return to centre.
- Keep the hips lifted and maintain a neutral pelvis as you alternate leg lifts for 20 repetitions.
Related article: Stretch and Strengthen Your Hips With These Hip-Opening Yoga Poses
Stability Ball Deadbugs:
- Lie on your back and lift your knees to 90 degrees.
- Place a stability ball between your lower legs (near the knees) and press your hands and legs into the stability ball.
- Engage the core and draw the navel toward the spine.
- Extend the arms and legs—the straighter the limbs, the more challenging the pose.
- Make sure the knees stay at 90-degrees when returning back to centre (the calves touching the hamstrings makes the exercise easier).
- Complete 10 reps on each side.
Related article: Stability Ball Workout For A Strong Well Defined Core & Legs
Forearm Plank With Toe Taps:
- Position the body into a forearm plank with the feet touching.
- Begin alternating lateral toe taps, where the right foot pushes away from the body, touches the floor and then returns to centre.
- Repeat with the left leg. Complete a set of 10 reps on each leg.
- Use a BOSU to make the exercise more challenging.
Side Plank With Torso Rotation:
- Position the body into a forearm side plank.
- Both legs should be extended.
- Lift the top arm over the chest and then rotate with your rib cage to draw the hand underneath the ribs.
- Repeat this motion for 10 to 12 repetitions and then perform on the other side.
Related article: How To Master The Deadlift For Full Body Muscle Strength And Gains
- Hold a set dumbbells and stand tall with feet hip-distance apart.
- Lift the right foot off the floor; hinge the pelvis to glide over the top of the left leg.
- The head and the foot should counterbalance each other.
- The lowest hinging point should be when the body is parallel to the floor.
- Keep the pelvis as neutral as possible.
- Complete 12 repetitions on each leg.