Core Stability Exercises

Melissa Bray-Spicer is the club leisure manager at Audley Stanbirdge Earls. Here she shares some core exercises to try at home.

Exercise 1: The Plank

This exercise focusses on all groups of the abdominals and also your erector spinae (a group of muscles along the spine) and these are key to help keep yourself balanced through everyday routines.

Hold the plank for 30 seconds and repeat 3-4 times. If you cannot hold this for 30 seconds, work yourself up to it with 5-10 second intervals.

Points to note:

  • Elbows under your shoulders
  • Toes under your ankles
  • Make sure spine alignment is straight through body
  • Look towards your hands
  • No bums in the air or stomachs arching towards the floor
  • Keep core tight throughout the exercise

Exercise 2: Back extension

This exercise focuses on the lower back and a little bit of the glutes. A lot of lower back pain is due to weakness of the erector spinae, this exercise will help to improve the strength in your back.

Lift up for three seconds, hold for two seconds and release for two seconds. Repeat this exercise for 12 repetitions and rest for 45 seconds. Complete this three-four times.

Points to note:

  • Lay flat on your front
  • Hands to the side of your ears
  • Keep feet on floor throughout exercise
  • Bring your chest off the floor
  • Squeeze your lower back and glutes
  • Release back down to the floor 

Exercise 3: Crunches

This exercise is for the abdominals, the tempo of this exercise is three seconds up, one second hold and then two seconds on the way back down. Remember to always keep your exercises controlled. Repeat this for 12 repetitions, then rest for 45 seconds. Repeat this three-four times.

Points to note:

  • Lay flat on your back and sit with your feet flat on the floor
  • Place hands to the side of your ears (do not pull on the back of your neck)
  • Squeeze abdominals and bring upper back off the floor towards your knees
  • Release back down to the floor 

If you are feeling comfortable with the crunches and want to progress to the next stage of this exercise, see below:

Points to note:

  • Lay flat on your back and hold feet up in the air, creating a right-angle behind your knees
  • Reach your hands out towards your knees
  • Squeeze abdominals and bring your hands to your knees
  • Release back down to the floor 
Read about other ways you can stay happy and healthy in our health and wellbeing section on Audley Stories

We recently interviewed Melissa about her role as Audley club leisure manager