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5 Essential Core Exercises from a Decade-Seasoned Trainer: Improve Strength, Posture and Balance

With a decade of experience as a personal trainer, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of a strong core. Not only does it enhance strength, but it’s crucial for improving posture, balance and injury prevention. Five core exercises that are key to bulletproofing your midsection.

1. Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk

The farmer’s walk, though simple in concept, is a powerhouse for core stabilisation. It’s not just about carrying weights; it’s about engaging your entire core to maintain upright posture and balance as you walk.
How to do it:
  1. Choose a pair of dumbbells you can hold for at least 30 seconds without rest.
  2. Stand tall, shoulders back, gripping the dumbbells at your sides.
  3. Walk steadily, focusing on keeping your core tight and shoulders level.
  4. Aim for 30-60 seconds or a set distance, then rest and repeat.

2. Bear Crawl

This exercise mimics a bear’s movement and is fantastic for engaging multiple muscle groups, including the core.
How to do it:
  1. Start on all fours, knees under hips, hands under shoulders.
  2. Lift your knees slightly off the ground.
  3. Move forward with opposite hand and foot movements, keeping your back flat and core engaged.
  4. Continue for a set time or distance.

3. Cable Chops

Cable chops are excellent for targeting oblique muscles and improving rotational strength.
How to do it:
  1. Stand sideways to a cable machine with the handle at the highest position.
  2. Grip the handle with both hands, arms extended, and pull down and across your body, rotating your torso.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Complete the set on one side before switching.

4. Plank

A staple in core conditioning, the plank is effective for building endurance in both the abs and back, as well as stabiliser muscles.
How to do it:
  1. Lie face down, then lift your body on your elbows and toes, keeping your body in a straight line.
  2. Engage your core, glutes, and thighs.
  3. Hold as long as possible, maintaining good form.
core exercise planking

5. Glute Bridge

Often overlooked, the glute bridge is essential for a strong posterior chain, which supports the core.
How to do it:
  1. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  3. Lower down slowly and repeat.


Incorporating these five exercises into your routine will not only strengthen your core but also improve your overall fitness. Remember, a strong core is the foundation of a strong body. Stay consistent, and don’t forget to challenge yourself as you progress!

Will Duru

Level 4 Qualified Personal Training Coach Sports & Exercise Science BSc (Hons)

Disclaimer: The ideas in this blog post are not medical advice. They shouldn’t be used for diagnosing, treating, or preventing any health problems. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, sleep habits, daily activities, or exercise. WILL POWER FITNESS isn’t responsible for any injuries or harm from the suggestions, opinions, or tips in this article.

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