You don’t have to be an athlete to focus on your core stability, in fact, everyone should be focusing on it as a part of their physical health routine. That is why we have created a list of the 10 core stability exercises you should add into your workouts.
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You don’t have to be an athlete to focus on your core stability, in fact, everyone should be focusing on it as a part of their physical health routine. Thats why we have created a list of the 10 core stability exercises you should add into your workouts.
Core exercises and stability are crucial aspects of any strength and conditioning programme as it lays a foundation of balance and structure that will allow the body to not only be loaded further in different movement patterns ,but also one which is healthy and can deal easily with day to day life.
The strength and stability of the muscles in the core are extremely beneficial for the most basic movements in your day to day life. This can often be taken for granted by those who have good movement abilities, but maintaining these abilities is crucial if you want to live a pain free active life. Core stabilisation exercises are also very effective at mitigating low back pain as they strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine.
Having a strong core will be effective for almost any sport or physical activity you take part in, from tennis to hiking, having a strong and robust core will enhance your performance.
Having a stable core can massively help with injury mitigation, as these muscles can be essential when preventing falls or other potentially dangerous situations, they are probably the most important group of muscles to focus on when trying to mitigate injury.
Increasing your core stabilisation using core stability exercise is an excellent way to prevent injury during athletic endeavours. A good core stability workout will be able to help with both balance and strength in athletic positions as the core muscles include the hip stabilisers and often stabiliser muscles for the knees. This specific muscle activation in invaluable for athletes looking to rehab or mitigate injury.
Complete 3 rounds
Full body resistance training can be a great way to use strength and conditioning principles to improve your overall quality of life. It focuses on building strength in all the key movement patterns including the core muscles. Core training can be easily integrated into these training sessions.
Core stability workouts can be completed in isolation as seen in the example above. These are an excellent way to get a strong and stable core if you’re short on time but still want to make progress.
Before we can define stability we need to define what the core is. “The core can be described as a muscular box with the abdominals in the front, paraspinals and gluteals in the back, the diaphragm as the roof, and the pelvic floor and hip girdle musculature as the bottom.”(1)
Within this box there are 29 pairs of muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis. Without these the spine would be very unstable during movement. The stability is dependant upon both the strength of the muscles and the sensory input that alerts the central nervous system.
It’s very important to make the correct exercise selection when developing core stability, if you pick exercises which are too challenging it will be hard to perform these to a high quality.
Let’s take an example of one person doing a long level plank (advanced individual) and someone doing a dead-bug (beginner). If the beginner were to do the long level plank they wouldn’t be able to maintain the correct position and the movement but if the advanced individual were to do the dead-bug, it wouldn’t create enough of a stimulus to create an adaptation.
Using the same two examples of the dead-bug and the long lever plank, we can see how these can easily be made harder by increasing the time of the hold. Let’s have a look at how you might progress a core exercise over a three week period.
Week 1 - Long Level Plank 3 x 15”
Week 2 - Long Lever Plank 3 x 20”
Week 3 - Long Lever Plank 4 x 20”
For weight-bearing core movements this would be by either increasing the weight.
This will prevent training from getting too challenging but also keep training interesting through using a wide variety of exercises. Keeping training fun is crucial for consistency and if your consistent you’ll be able to drastically improve abdominal core stability.
Once you’ve done an exercise for a while it would be a good idea to change the exercise to increase the difficulty again. For the dead-bug exercise you might want to move towards a dead-bugs with pause. and for the long lever plank you might switch to barbell rollout.
If we break the core into four categories of
When developing core stability it’s important to work all the elements of the core. If you’re working on these movements consistently you’ll be sure to develop a strong and robust core. If you use the 10 exercises outlines above using these principles then you’ll be able to create a strong and stable core.
Please remember that all these recommendations are for healthy and fit individuals. If your looking to improve core stability after an injury make sure to consult a physio thearpist and focus on some of the movements discussed in this document from the NHS.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.