The Top Core Exercises for Strength and Stability



By Paul Young, BS, CPT

The warm weather is here, and everyone wants those abs to start showing. Below are some of my favorite core exercises for creating good posture, endurance, and of course, getting those abs to pop! The great thing about all of these exercises is that you can increase your strength by going up in weight or up in time/reps.


Plank w/ KB Pull Through – Start in the plank position with elbows placed under the shoulders. Place a kettle bell or dumbbell below and just outside of your left elbow. Grab the handle with your right hand and pull the weight to the other side of your body and set it down on the opposite side of the mat. Then repeat by grabbing the weight with your left hand. You can be in the plank position on your feet or your knees. If you are on your knees, make sure to keep your hips low!


Glute Bridge w/ DB Pullover – Start on a mat laying down on your back. Grab your weights and hold them straight up in line with your shoulders, then push your hips toward the ceiling, driving from your heels. Once in this position, take the weights and act like you are passing them behind you. Once you get to your full range of motion, return the weights to the start position and repeat. To add a little difficulty, put a resistance band just below your knees and push outward with your knees during the entire exercise.


Bird/Dog Row  – Start on a bench on your hands and knees. Take your right leg and extend it behind you, driving your heel backward and toward the ceiling. With your left hand, grab your weight and row. Be sure to keep your hips level. Row for a set time or reps, then repeat with the opposite arm and leg.


Dead Bug Paloff Press – Begin on a mat laying perpendicular to the cable machine. Grab the cable handle and pull into the center of your chest, then extend your arms straight toward the ceiling. Engage your core and lift your legs off the ground to be in the dead bug position. Then for reps or time alternate dropping one leg toward the ground, then the other. Turn to the other side and repeat.


Cable Chops - Incline/ Decline/ Regular – Using varying weights and heights on the cable machine, keep arms straight and simulating a golf or baseball swing, twist your body turning your shoulders about 180 degrees. Repeat on the other side.


Any or all of these can be added to any strength routine. The more you do it, the better your core will be, and it will transfer to the rest of your lifts! Please ask you LifeStart certified personal trainer if you have any trouble with what you should be doing and if your form is correct.


Follow Us