Torso Exercises for Core Stability

Most of these torso circuit training exercises are shown in the typical format that we suggest you can do. For some an added Level 2 and sometimes Level 3 are given, which are a little harder. These should only be tried once you are competent at the previous level and want more of a challenge. Always reduce the number of repetitions when you make an exercise harder until you are confident with it.

These exercises are vital for the maintenance and improvement of core stability.

The videos below can be found at the Momentum Sports Youtube page, which has many demonstrations of circuits and weights exercises.

Complete Torso Exercises

Use back and side hold exercises to work the whole of your trunk for great core stability

Back Hold

The plank: Ensure you keep a good back position throughout and keep the belly button pulled in towards the spine, while maintaining a relaxed breathing pattern. Hold for 30-1 mins

Level: beginner

Muscles used: Transverse abdominus, pelvic floor, abdominals, lower back

Side Hold

The next stage up from the plank is the so-called 'side plank'. Leaning on a bent elbow and keeping your core muscles braced (by pulling your belly button in, as above), lift your upper body so that there is a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Also make sure that the trunk is not leaning too far forwards or backwards while in the air.

Level: intermediate

Muscles used: Transverse abdominus, abductors, obliques, glutes

Hand Balance Side Hold

This exercise is much like that of the side hold, but using your hand for support rather than a flexed elbow. Again, make sure that the core muscles are braced and that you keep a straight line from your shoulders to your toes.

Level: intermediate

Muscles used: Transverse abdominus, abductors, obliques, glutes

Stomach Exercises

Work the central and oblique stomach muscles with sit ups, crunchies and chinnies.

Arm Sit Ups

Ensuring that you keep your legs slightly bent and hips in contact with the ground, use your arms to aid momentum and swing them forward as you sit up.

Level: beginner

Muscles used: abdominals

Specific: muscular endurance for the abdominals

Sit Ups

Ensuring that you keep the legs slightly bent and hips in contact with the ground, cross your arms across your chest so they do not aid you - hence making this harder than the arm sit ups

Level: beginner

Muscles used: abdominals

Specific: muscular endurance for the abdominals

Chinnies

For this exercise, lie on your back with legs bent and hands on temples (but do not pull on the neck). The aim is to get opposite elbow to opposite knee, raising that knee off the ground at the end of the movement.

Level: intermediate

Muscles used: abdominals and obliques

Specific: muscular endurance for the trunk

Crunchies

To perform the abdominal crunch, lying on your back with hands by your side, curl up while bringing both knees towards you, always keeping your feet at a similar height (i.e. a couple of inches above the ground).

Level: intermediate

Muscles used: Abdominals, hip flexors

Specific: muscular endurance

Hard Crunchies

The abdominal crunch, lying on your back with hands by the side of your head. Lift your feet up off the floor. Curl up while bringing both knees in towards you.

Level: advanced

Muscles used: Abdominals, hip flexors

Specific: muscular endurance

Hip Lifts

Hands down by your side, raising legs off the ground keeping a slight bend in the knee, bring the knees back towards the chest and then extend and shoot the legs into the air.

Level: Advanced

Muscles used: Lower abdominals and lower back

Specific: Muscular endurance for the trunk

V Sit Up

Back Exercises

Use back stretches, arm lifts and hip raises to work the muscles in your back, again great for core stability.

Back Stretch

Keep posture in a good neutral position, take 1 hand and opposite leg straightening both and hold for 30secs

Level: beginner

Muscles used; Glutes, lower back and hamstrings

Specific: Balance and posture

Foot Up Stretch

Keep posture in a good neutral position, take 1 hand and opposite leg straightening both. Raise the supporting foot off the ground and hold for 30secs.

Level: intermediate

Muscles used; Glutes, lower back and hamstrings

Specific: Balance and posture

Double Arm Lift

Lying prone lift arms and chest just off the ground while contracting buttocks to stabilise lower back and hold 30-1 min

Level: beginner

Muscles used: lower back and glutes

Specific: muscular endurance for lower back

Lying Back Stretch

Lying prone, take 1 arm and opposite leg and raise, straightening both. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds and swap to the other side.

Level: beginner

Muscles used: lower back and glutes

Hip Raises

Lie in the position shown and lift your hips up to about the height of your heels before returning to the starting position.

 

 

 


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