10 Core Stabilizing Exercises


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  27 comments   :  104,503 Views

For many of us working our core is one area of the body that is often neglected as it takes time to see the results of all our hard work. But working these muscles is just as important, if not more so, than working the other areas of your body. The reason, by building a strong core it helps create a strong foundation so that we may help prevent injury anywhere up and down the kinetic chain. In other words, having weak lats can cause a runner to lose form which in turn may lead to IT band issues, which may lead to knee issues.

Performing core stabilization exercises help us develop better posture, in addition to helping us develop better balance. For runners these exercises help recruit muscles used during running which may help one maintain proper form, especially when fatigue begins to set in during the latter part of a training run or race. Keeping the core strong and erect also allows for the chest to remain open which allows for better lung expansion. Just a few core stabilizing exercises a week is all it takes to help build and maintain the muscles needed to keep us strong.

Many of the exercises listed do not require any equipment, although there are a few which will require a stability ball as well as a medicine ball.

Basic Plank

Side Plank

Bird Dog Video

Kneeling Rollouts with Ball

Single Leg Bridge

Standing Medicine Ball Trunk Rotations

Twisting Crunch

Back Extensions


Jackknife with Ball

Below are references to ab workouts located on the SparkPeople.com site

Coach Nicole's 15 Minute Ab Workout

Printable 15 Minute Ab Workout

Coach Nicole's 12-Minute Pilates Abs Workout

How to Get Six-Pack Abs

Do you incorporate core exercises into your workout routine? Do you feel core exercises help you with balance? What are some of your favorite core exercises?

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  • 27
    Right up my ally, this is what I need.
    Thank You. - 11/7/2017   6:36:46 PM
  • 26
    These are such good exercises. It is important to build a strong core for good support. - 5/8/2017   12:37:07 AM
  • 25
    I've gotten better about taking care of my abs lately, mostly because I love running so much. My favorite exercises are standing routines -- Trunk rotation and Wood Chop with weights. I do plank and side plank as well, but I just don't do crunches any more because I hated them so much I'd avoid my core workouts! - 1/7/2011   6:38:20 AM
  • 24
    RETDTC, Have you tried using your local pool? They do have aqua therapy, and also aqua fit. At our pool there is a chair that lowers you into the pool, and out of the pool as well. You can do pretty much anything in the deep end of the pool, whether you can walk or not. We were floater belts, so we don't sink to the bottom.
    I am crippled up with arthritis, but do the aqua fit, to the best of my ability, and you do develop core strength. I hope this helps you. Andrea - 1/6/2011   5:25:14 PM
  • 23
    I love yoga, it is one of my favourites, and you do build a strong core. - 1/6/2011   5:17:03 PM
  • 22
    Doing YOGA and Kettlebell work outs certainly build the "core" muscles. - 1/6/2011   1:52:41 PM
    I am disabled and a new member. I would like to see some exercises for people with limited mobility. In my case I can not walk but I am able to move my legs. I need core and arm strengthening exercises. Can you help? - 1/6/2011   1:08:29 PM
    It has been one year to date that I injured my back. My therapist advised I strengthen my core to avoid further back injuries. To this day I continue to do the exercises given and knock on wood I have no issues with my back. - 1/6/2011   12:51:02 PM
    I take Pilates and all I can say is: WOW. Definitely have made some huge progress in flexibility, balance and strength. I used to not be able to touch my toes, and had issues balancing on one foot.

    After 6 months, I have some definition in my abs (just gotta lose the fat over top), can touch the floor with my hands while standing up(!!), and my balance problems are practically non-exisistent.

    My favorite core move is the Russian twist. Hurts like crazy but afterwards you feel like you can bounce a penny off your abs! - 1/6/2011   11:57:30 AM
  • 18
    As someone who has just begun to train for their first 3K, and is very new to running, I really appreciate this article. I hadnt realized, or even thought about, how important core conditioning is. I actually did my very first core video yesterday for day 5 of the 28 day challenge and couldnt believe how challenging it was! Now I will be sure to incorporate core training into my weekly regimen. Thanks! - 1/6/2011   11:31:09 AM
    I'm working my way from a modified one minute plank to a full minute regular plank. I love watching my progress! - 1/6/2011   11:03:33 AM
  • 16
    I regularly do core exercises as part of my exercise routine. Many of them I do because they are yoga based i.e. like plank, side plank, Superman, bridge, etc... I feel that core exercises definitely help with my balance and coordination. That's another reason I keep doing core work.

    What are some of my favorite core exercises ? Plank, plank on a stability ball or BOSU, side plank, seated twist with a medicine ball or hand weight, etc....

    - 1/6/2011   9:40:09 AM
  • 15
    These are definite keepers. - 1/6/2011   9:11:38 AM
  • 14
    I also have a love-hate relationship with the plank but I've come a long way with it. Someone mentioned that they have difficulty with core exercises because of back problems. I too have back problems (although they have gotten better with physical therapy and continuing exercise). One thing that made doing core exercises easier for me at the height of my back pain problems was using the Swiss Ball. I cushioned me where I needed it and made doing things like crunches bearable ( I could NOT do them on the floor at that time). Anyway, core strengthening is definitely critical and has helped me alot with pain issues. - 1/6/2011   9:04:48 AM
    The plank is hard, but I love it. Core stability is important, especially as we age. Falling and breaking bones is not fun. Core stability increases balance which decreases the likelihood of falling (even on ice). - 1/6/2011   8:46:46 AM
  • 12
    I too have a bad back. I find twisting agravtes it so does sitting for a long time like car rides. I keep trying to find the ones that are best for me. Recently I dread even trying them. I do love Cobra and pigeon pose though. Some days that is all I mdo. Pat in Maine neglecting the core. - 1/6/2011   8:16:24 AM
  • 11
    Just what I needed. Thanks - 1/6/2011   7:54:08 AM
  • ANGEL818
    I needed this information. Core stability is one of the big things I'm working on with my trainer and on my own. - 1/6/2011   6:09:16 AM
  • 9
    This is exactly what I was looking for today. Thanks! - 1/6/2011   5:57:15 AM
  • 8
    Like others, I have to do some core exercise for my back also. If I do not, I am in excruciating pain after standing for about 30 minutes. 10 minutes of core work 2-3 times a week and I can stand for hours. It's such a huge difference that I can't neglect it. - 1/6/2011   1:07:00 AM
  • 7
    I have to do them daily for my back. Haven't been doing them lately and can feel it! - 1/5/2011   11:49:34 PM
  • 6
    have just started - 1/5/2011   11:20:31 PM
    Do you see that girl in that yoga back bend. It looks like she is going to fold in half backwards! - 1/5/2011   11:19:06 PM
  • 4
    I also love the plank. Makes me feel accomplished when I am able to hold it longer. I also love to do core exercises on my stability ball! - 1/5/2011   10:42:28 PM
    I like plank too - 1/5/2011   9:41:40 PM
  • 2
    My favorite is plank! We have a love-hate relationship. - 1/5/2011   9:21:27 PM
  • 1
    I love yoga and pilates. I am more aware of how I stand in a line or at the counter doing the dishes. I pull thing in and stand taller. I love how I feel after a good workout. - 1/5/2011   9:09:57 PM

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