Posted on January 30, 2019 by Kate Gordon

Core strength is an integral component of any fitness regime: it is key to the body functioning because it supports almost every movement and position. Core exercises train muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdominals. If you follow this core routine on a consistent basis you will see improvements to balance and stability, supporting everyday movement and functions.  

Core exercises can strengthen and tone the underlying muscles, but if it’s more defined and ‘ripped’ abdominal muscles you’re after, the exercises below are still important, but it will take additional aerobic/HIT-type activity to burn abdominal fat and create more definition.

Deadlifts (5 sets – 10 reps)

Deadlifts target all the main muscles groups responsible for correct posture and core strength.

  1. Stand by a bar shoulder width – mid foot under the bar
  2. Position back in a neutral position, place hips downwards, bent knees
  3. Bend over grasp bar, just wider than knees
  4. Pull the bar upwards, lifting chest and pushing hips through, straightening lower back

Image: chiropractic.fit

Hip bridge (3 sets – 12 reps)

The glute bridge helps target all our posterior muscles and core. It is one of the best exercises to improve posture imbalance, help lessen back pain and improve core strength.

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor
  2. Squeeze and tighten your glutes and lift your hips off the ground upwards towards the celling
  3. Once reaching the highest position, there will be a straight line running down from your knees all the way to your shoulders.

Image: stack.com

Ab rollout (3 sets – 12 reps)

Ab rollouts mainly focus on the abdominal muscles. This exercise entails you bracing your abs tightly and keeping your core engaged. This an exercise which can be modified by rolling down to the point of comfort.

  1. Hold the ab roller (or barbell with plates) with both hands, place knees on the ground
  2. Roll forwards pushing body and stretching as forwards as possible
  3. After holding at a stretched position, return back to the start position

Image: fitmeup.co

Sit ups (3 sets – 12 reps)

The sit up is an abdominal exercise which supports the strengthen and toning of the abdominal muscles. It is a similar movement to a crunch, however during a sit up you have a greater range of motion, conditioning more abdominal muscles.

  1. Lie on the floor flat with knees bent
  2. Place your hands on your thighs and bend your head, tucking your chin slightly
  3. Elevate your upper body so your chest comes up to your knees
  4. Contract for a second and lower your upper body back down to the floor

Image: popsugar.com

Russian twists (3 sets – 12 reps)

Russian twists mainly target your obliques. It is a core exercise which involves all the core muscles, with the twist motion to work the muscles.

  1. Begin in a seated position with both knees and heels off the ground (knees slightly bent)
  2. Lean back until you feel your abdominals engaged to stabilise your body
  3. Ensure your back is straight and not bent in this position
  4. Bring both your arms in front of your abdominals, the movement will come from your hips
  5. Rotate your arms all the way to one side and then do the same on the opposite direction

Image: popsugar.com

Plank (1 minute)

The plank is a staple of any core routine as it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously – an exercise that improves back pain, balance, posture and also flexibility.

  1. Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders keeping your wrists in line with the shoulders
  2. Push your body upwards and keep your neck in a neutral position
  3. In this position, brace your abdominals, squeeze your glutes and keep this position – you should have a line running down from head/neck to heel
  4. Hold this position over a continuous time period.

Image: notyouraveragerunner.com

Workout created by Yunus Benabbas, Personal Training Supervisor at motive8