TOP 5 CORE EXERCISES for strength training.

Updated: Sep 4

After many requests, I'm sharing my top 5 core exercises for strength training, with both progressions and regressions.


Your core is responsible for stability, keeping your movements powerful and controlled. Often reducing the risk of injury, a huge staple in strength training where you’re often lifting heavy, unstable weights. Unlike many believe, your core is comprised of many more muscles than your typical abs.


In this post, I'll break these stability muscles into 4 categories, the deep core muscles, the minor core muscles, the lumbar muscles and the cervical muscles.

The next few paragraphs are pretty sciencey so don't worry if you don't understand OR if you have no interest in learning the specifics. Feel free to skip on to the actual workout at the bottom and if you need anything explaining further, leave a comment or email me at beth@bethlavisfitness.com.


The deep core muscles refer to the transverse abdominals, multifidus, diaphragm, pelvic floor, erector spinae (specifically longissimus thoracis) and both the internal and external obliques. The minor core muscles refer to the latissimus dorsi, the gluteus maximus and the trapezius muscles. The deep core muscles tend to be smaller in size and responsible solely for stability, whereas the minor core muscles share responsibility for stability and movement - depending on the action being performed. The lumbar muscles can be found at the bottom of the spine (around the pelvis) and consist of to the quadratus lumborum (deep portion) and the deep hip rotators. The cervical muscles refer to those around your neck, keeping your head balanced on your spine, and consist of the rectus capitus (anterior and lateralis) and the longus coli.



In strength training, each of the muscles/groups above is paramount in the success of every one of your lifts. Whether you're benching, pressing, squatting or deadlifting, each of these muscles will play a part in the stability, control and safety of the movement.


The following 5 exercises have been carefully chosen to prep and prime your core, ensuring optimal performance in each of the areas mentioned above.


My top core exercises for strength training!

1. Dead Bug

2. Side Plank

3. Plank

4. Hollow Hold

5. Back Extension


Click here to go to my free downloads page where you can download the full document with progressions and fully detailed descriptions of each exercise.


Any questions? You know where I am! Always here,

Beth x


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Beth Lavis Fitness

Female Personal Trainer | Online Health & Wellness Coach | Sports Massage Therapist | Nutrition Advisor

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