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Exercises to Maintain Core Stability

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This article is about core stability and its importance among athletes and common people. Read below to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Neha Suryawanshi

Published At December 16, 2022
Reviewed AtDecember 16, 2022


Understanding the function and movements of the core is necessary for fitness professionals because it is the foundation for the ability to produce all types of movements. The arms and legs cannot adapt to the required force and speed once the core is unable to support a particular exercise. Reducing belly fat and increasing stabilization is the key purpose of core strengthening. This contributes to every exercise being a part of core exercise.

What Is Meant by Core Stability?

  • Core stability is referred to the ability of the person to stabilize their core.

  • The ability of the person depends on position control and core movement.

  • If a person has higher core stability, they have good control over the position and movement of the body.

  • The body's center of gravity is associated with core stability.

  • Thus, if a person moves from one place to another or tries to lift heavy objects, the core region is tense first.

  • This change occurs unconsciously and in conjunction with a change in breathing patterns.

  • Core stability is essential for the maintenance of an upright posture.

  • The lower back is not supported without the core stability as it can be injured from strain. Insufficient core stability results in lower back pain and lower limb injuries.

How to Assess Core Stability?

  • To understand core stability, it is important to understand the movements of the spine.

  • The spine is stabilized in all planes- flex laterally in the frontal plane, flex and extend in the sagittal plane, and perform a combination of these movements.

  • While doing an exercise in a core training program, the person should begin at the highest level at which they can maintain stability.

  • The various movement assessments for identifying core stability are the double-leg lowering test, push-ups, overhead squat assessment, floor bridge, and quadruped opposite arm or leg raise.

  • Status and progress are evaluated through reassessments.

What Are the Core Stability Essentials?

  • Intervertebral Stability: It is the ability to minimize movement between vertebrae. This is done by activating smaller muscles such as the transverse abdominis, diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, and small paraspinal muscles. Exercises include Kegels and drawing-in.

  • Lumbo-Pelvic Stability: It is the ability to minimize movement between the ribcage and pelvis. This is done by isometric tightening of the abdominal core muscles. Exercises include drawing in and abdominal bracing.

What Are the Best Core Stabilization Exercises?

  • Stabilization- The first phase of core training, and there is little to no movement of the spine during this phase.

  • Plank, side plank, floor prone cobra, floor bridge, cable anti-rotation, and chest press.

  • Other exercises that are not core focused but require the core to be strong and flexible are push-ups, bent-over rows, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, and asymmetrically loaded carriers.

What Are the Best Core Strengthening Exercises?

  • Core strengthening exercises require movement of the spine through a relatively large range of motion and also integrate the full muscle-action spectrum and resistance through the use of medicine balls, cables, bands, and free weights.

  • Crunches, back extension, side bends, and trunk rotation are important to core strengthening exercises.

What Are the Core Power Exercises?

  • Core power exercises do not require resistance but focus on the movement's rate of force and speed.

  • Rotation chest pass, soccer throw, overhead crunch throw, and medicine ball slam are important to core power exercises.

What Are the Exercises That Help in Maintaining Core Stability?

  • Level 1-Core Stabilization Exercises: Should perform one to three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions per side at a slow tempo.

  • Side Plank: Should lie on the side and draw in and lift, holding for five seconds with engaging core and leg musculature. Should keep the head, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet in a straight line.

  • Cable Anti-rotation Chest Press: Should stand with feet, hip to shoulder width apart, and hold the handles at chest tight. Draw in the navel to tighten the core muscles while engaging the glutes. Next, press the handles away from the chest without any movement or rotation of the lumbar pelvic hip complex.

  • Marching Hip Bridge: Should lie on the back and place the hands on the sides. Then lift the hips and hold a hip bridge. After that, lift the right foot off the floor to ninety degrees at the hip and knee. Bring down the foot onto the floor and repeat with the opposite leg.

  • Forearm Plank With Toe Tips: Should position the body into a forearm plank with feet touching. Begin with alternating toe taps such that the right foot pushes away from the body, touches the floor, and then returns to the center. Should repeat similarly using the left leg.

  • Level 2-Core Strengthening Exercises: The person should perform two to three sets of eight to twelve repetitions at a medium tempo.

  • Cable Rotation: This includes spinal and hip rotation. The trunk stays tall with the chest up.

  • Stability Ball Back Extension: Should brace the feet against the wall and align the ball low on the abdominal region. Then flex the spine over the ball, and extend using the erector spinae muscles while holding the glutes and leg muscles tight.

  • Level 3-Core Power Exercises: The person should perform two to three sets of eight to ten repetitions as fast as possible with control.

  • Medicine Ball Rotation Chest Pass: Lightweight balls are used for easier throw and evaluation of power developed. Should stand sideways, about three to five feet away from the wall, with feet parallel to the wall. Then the person should twist the body at ninety degrees while throwing the ball against the wall.

  • Medicine Ball Slam: This is a good core power exercise because the core is the link in explosive upper and lower body movements. Should lift the medicine ball overhead and then use the entire body to accelerate the ball down to the floor.


A core training program must be designed to progress exercise participants safely and logically, providing a strong foundation before introducing higher power moves. Too often, the trainers or clients skip the stabilization phase and opt for exciting and dynamic movements. Limits in core stabilization training affect performance outcomes and lead to injury and pain. Personal trainers will not address or treat pain but can address stability and movement deficiencies.

Frequently Asked Questions


In What Ways Can a Strong Core Benefit Running Performance?

A strong core benefits running performance by improving stability, balance, and posture. It helps to transfer power from the legs to the upper body, reducing unnecessary movement and fatigue. A strong core helps reduce the risk of injury, particularly in the lower back and hips.


How Does Having Good Core Strength Assist With Balance?

Good core strength assists with balance by improving the body's ability to stabilize and maintain control during movement. The core muscles work with other muscles and the nervous system to adjust the body's position, preventing falls and improving coordination. A strong core also helps to decrease the risk of injury to the ankles, knees, and hips during activities that require balance.


What Advantages Does Core Strength Provide for Football Players?

Core strength gives football players several advantages, such as improved agility, balance, and power. It helps players maintain good posture while running and change direction quickly. A strong core also supports the lower back, reducing the chances of injury and enhancing overall physical performance.


What Are the Benefits of Building Core Strength?

Developing core strength offers numerous advantages, including enhanced posture, balance, and stability. It diminishes the likelihood of injury during physical exertion and optimizes physical performance by facilitating efficient power transfer throughout the body. Strengthening the core can also alleviate back pain and enhance overall strength and conditioning.


Can Developing Core Strength Help Alleviate Back Pain?

Improving core strength can provide relief from back pain by enhancing the muscles that support the spine. A stronger core stabilizes the lower back and pelvis, minimizing strain on the spine and lowering the likelihood of injuries. Engaging in core-targeted exercises can alleviate persistent back pain and enhance mobility and flexibility.


How Does Core Strength Contribute to Basketball Performance?

Core strength contributes to basketball performance by improving stability, balance, and power. It helps players maintain good posture while running, jumping, and pivoting, allowing for quick changes in direction. A strong core also supports the lower back, reducing the chances of injury and overall physical performance. Additionally, a strong core can improve shooting accuracy and control over the basketball.


Can Core Stability Help Prevent Injuries?

Enhancing core stability plays a crucial role in preventing injuries as it enhances the body's capacity to stabilize and regulate movement. When the core is strong and stable, it effectively minimizes the likelihood of injuries to the lower back, hips, knees, and ankles. Additionally, it aids in improving posture and balance, thereby reducing the chances of falls and accidents. Athletes can optimize their physical performance and overall capabilities by focusing on strengthening core stability.


How Does Core Stability Contribute to the Body's Overall Improvement?

Improving core stability contributes to improving the body by enhancing control, balance, and stability during movement. This reduces the risk of injury and enhances overall physical performance, allowing athletes to move more effectively and efficiently. Core stability also improves posture and can alleviate back pain. Athletes can achieve better overall physical fitness and conditioning by improving core stability.


How To Build Core Stability Effectively?

Building core stability involves exercises that target the muscles in the torso and pelvis to improve control and balance. These exercises include planks, side planks, bridges, and exercises that target the deep muscles of the abdomen and lower back. By improving core stability, athletes can reduce the risk of injury and enhance overall performance by improving control and balance during movement. These exercises can also improve posture and reduce the risk of back pain.


How Frequently Should Core Stability Exercises Be Performed?

Core stability exercises should be performed regularly to build strength and stability in the muscles of the torso and pelvis. The frequency and duration of these exercises may vary depending on individual needs and fitness level, but two to three times per week is a good starting point. It is important to progress gradually, increasing the difficulty of the exercises as strength and stability improve. Regular core stability exercises can reduce the risk of injury and enhance overall physical performance.


How To Assess Core Strength and Stability?

Various ways to assess core strength and stability include functional movement and isometric strength tests. Functional movement tests, such as the plank and bird-dog, assess the ability to control and stabilize the spine and pelvis during movement. Isometric strength tests, such as the abdominal muscle endurance test, measure the ability to maintain a static contraction in the core muscles. These assessments can be performed by a fitness professional or done at home using basic equipment.


What Is Core Stability, and Why Is It Essential for Physical Performance?

Core stability refers to the ability to control and stabilize the spine and pelvis during movement. It is essential for physical performance because a stable core provides a solid base for movements of the limbs and enhances balance, control, and stability during dynamic activities. A strong and stable core can also reduce the risk of injury, improve posture, and enhance overall physical performance. By strengthening the muscles of the torso and pelvis, athletes can improve core stability and enhance their ability to perform at their best.
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Neha Suryawanshi
Neha Suryawanshi




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