Forget sit-ups: two better exercises to boost core strength

Christopher Hole personal trainer

Getting ‘better’ abs seems to be an obsession for many of today’s newcomers to fitness training. There are countless TV and internet adverts promising better functioning and stronger abs if you just buy their magical device or perform endless sit-ups and crunch-type exercises.

In actual fact, there is no magical way of improving your ab strength, and performing endless crunches will accord little real benefit and may actually increase the risk of spinal injury. Instead, the key to having good abs is overall health and fitness and developing a strong core. Here are two simple exercises that you can use to increase your core strength.

… two simple exercises to increase your core strength

1. The Plank

The plank is one of the simplest yet most challenging and effective exercises you can do to improve core strength. No equipment is required.

Start the exercise by lying on your front, as though you were about to do a press up. Instead of raising yourself up on your hands, raise yourself up to rest on your forearms, with your palms facing down, and your toes pointing to the floor. Then hold the position for as long as comfortable, before repeating twice more. Aim to hold the position for 10 seconds at first; if you are a beginner, then build it up from there.

Take a look at our explainer video on how to do this position, as well as the benefits it provides. Video URL:

2. The Side Plank

This exercise is great for building core strength and helping with lower back pain because the core is having to work hard to maintain this side plank posture. Take a look at our explainer video where we demonstrate the correct position you should maintain while doing this exercise. To get the best out of this move, you should do one side, hold the position, then swap and do the other side and then rest at the end of that set.

Video URL:

“Both of these exercises will have a marked effect on your core strength if you do them three to five times per week. They will also burn additional fat and put you on the road to having the strong and functional core that your overall fitness requires.”

Contact me

Get in touch to book your free consultation. Email me at: Visit my website to find out more here: