A Strong and Stable Centre

By Steve Riley | Photography by Mel Koutchavlis

A Strong and Stable Centre
We use them without thinking every day to lift, bend, twist and even stand, but weak core muscles can lead to back pain, aches and injuries. Stay stable and flexible with these five simple exercises.

Table Top Knee Crunch


This exercise improves coordination and balance as well as your core as it requires you to move opposite arms and legs; it’s also great for realignment.

To begin, kneel on the ground on all fours. Reach your left arm long, tighten the abdominal wall and extend your right leg until it is straight behind you while keeping the spine straight and aligned (top). Hold for two seconds. Slowly draw in your left elbow and right knee towards your centre as you round your back. Draw in your abdominal muscles at the same time (above). Hold for two seconds. Press back leg out long again, then return to all fours. Repeat on the other side. Perform 10 crunches each side. As you become stronger, hold each position for longer.

Hip Bridge


Lie on your back, knees bent, feet hip-width apart. Contract your abdominal muscles to flatten your lower back into the floor. Drive hips forward into full extension, squeezing your glutes. Press heels into floor for added stability. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower to the starting position.

Leg Lift Crossover Crunch


Lie on your back and raise both legs to 90˚. Crunch abs, lifting head and shoulders off the floor. Lower right leg to 45˚, and crunch upper body to the left. Return right leg to 90˚ and lower left leg to 45˚ in a scissor-like motion. Crunch your body to the right side. Repeat 10 times each side.

T Press Up


Begin in a straight-arm plank. Twist your body and raise your left arm overhead; chest open, shoulders stacked. Roll onto the sides of your feet, keeping body straight. Return to start and repeat other side.



Begin in a seated position, with legs out straight in front of you. Contract your abdominal muscles and core, and lift your legs to a 90˚ angle. Reach your arms straight forward. Hold for 10 seconds – as you get stronger, hold for longer. Return to the starting position slowly. Repeat three to five times.


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