Technique & Fitness

Core Strength

by Paul Foley

Work on the strength and stability of your core with these four fundamental exercises. Simple, but highly effective!

  • Plank

    Works transverse abdominals, upper and lower back.

    1. Lie on your stomach and place your elbows directly under your shoulders with forearms and hands on the floor.
    2. Place feet about hip-width apart.
    3. Slowly lift your hips off the floor, keeping your back straight.
    4. Squeeze your glutes together. Don’t sag through the hips or arch your back.
    5. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, working up to 30 seconds.
    Repeat 3 times.

  • Bridge

    Works back, glutes, hip flexors

    1. Lie down on your back, bend your knees and place your heels near your bum (6 to 8 inches).
    2. Place your arms at your sides, palms down.
    3. Pull your navel toward your spine (to eliminate any space between the floor and your lower back).
    4. Squeeze your glutes, while you slowly raise your hips off the floor and push up from your heels, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees.
    5. Pause, then slowly lower your hips to the ground.
    Repeat 5 times and build from there.

  • Scissor Kick

    Works inner and outer thighs, hip flexors and abs.

    1. Lie on your back with legs straight, and place both hands under your head.
    2. Pull your navel toward your spine (to eliminate any space between the floor and your lower back), and raise your shoulders off the floor.
    3. Raise your legs 6 to 8 inches off the ground (you can start higher as Kris does here) and scissor them: left leg over right, then right over left.
    Repeat 10 times and build from there.

  • Bird Dog

    Works back, glutes, hip flexors.

    1. Kneel on all fours with your hands placed flat on the floor under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
    2. Raise your right arm while extending your left leg.
    3. Keep your back straight and your hips level.
    4. Hold for 1–5 seconds.
    5. Repeat, raising left arm and right leg this time.
    Repeat 3 times.