Are you looking for some no-nonsense core exercises to add to your workout routine? Have infomercials selling $8,000 upside down wobble boards got you a little confused about the best way to improve core stability?

We all want that coveted killer six pack, and if you don’t, you’re either a Sumo wrestler or a really bad liar. However, developing the other muscles in your core, yes there ARE more, is extremely important for everyday things like:

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  • Functional Strength
  • Pain-Free Movement
  • Injury Prevention
  • Every Other Exercise Developing Your Body
  • Time Travel – Probably Not Time Travel

A strong, stable core should be your first goal before looking to add the weight of a planet to your squats, deadlifts and bench presses. This will ensure performance and strength are optimal and will protect the spine throughout the movement.

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The 4 Best Exercises for Core Stability

1) Planks

core stabilityPlanks are a great way to train the stabilizers of the core in a safe way without movement or impact.

  • Take a push-up position on the floor with your feet close together
  • Rest your weight on your forearms and your toes
  • Contract your abs, lats, glutes and quads to maintain a nice neutral spinal position
  • Hold the plank for 10 to 60 seconds depending on your ability

2) Bird Dog

The Bird Dog exercise is a step up from the plank and involves training stability through the movement of opposing limbs, beneficial for common activities like walking.

  • Take a quadruped stance on the ground resting with your weight on your hands and knees
  • Raise one arm in front of you while at the same time extending the opposite leg behind you
  • Ensure you keep a nice straight spinal position and try not to rotate at the shoulders or hips as you move your limbs
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds

3) Russian Twist

Stability is not only important for stationary spinal positions; it’s also vital for protecting the spine in rotational movements. (Click here to see this exercise performed)

  • Sit on the ground holding a light weight
  • Bend your legs so that your feet are together flat on the ground
  • Lean back slightly and lift your feet from the ground
  • Twist side to side focusing on keeping a tight core and breathing properly as you twist

4) Single-Arm Farmers Carry

The Single-Arm Farmers Carry develops core stability in unbalanced loaded movements, essential for everyday tasks like carrying your misbehaving frantic child out of a toy store.

  • Hold a heavy weight in one hand to your side
  • Walk a long distance, relative to your ability, carrying the weight in hand
  • Keep your back straight and don’t lean your hips or shoulders out of spinal alignment
  • Breathe comfortably and look straight ahead the whole time
  • Switch sides and repeat

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