Balance Your Core Conditioning

Crunches and sit-ups used to be the go-to for strengthening your core, but now we realize that we need to work our core from all angles and all actions, with a focus on bracing or stabilizing the spine.

Conditioning your core effectively is critical for optimal health.

If your core is strong, that strength radiates out to your extremities and you will be better able to run faster, jump higher, stabilize and align your body, absorb and brace for any impact and move your body more efficiently and with better mechanics. 

It’s important to emphasize that your core is not only your abs – but also includes your back and hips.

Balanced Core Strengthening

An effective approach to balancing your core work is to choose 3 different core exercises from the following categories:

One stabilization exercise

One flexion or rotation of the spine

One hip exercise or back extension

Exercises that would be considered stabilization:

High or Low Planks

Side planks



“Dead Bug” Variations

Stability Ball Roll-Outs etc.

Exercises that would be considered Flexion or Rotation of the spine

Oblique Crunches


Standing Tube or pully torso rotations

Wood Chops etc.

Exercises that would be considered Hip conditioning or Back Extension


Stability Ball Bridging

Stability  Ball Hamstring curls

Resisted Side Steps

Bird-Dog Variations

Opposite Arm/Leg Lift

Perform one exercise from each of the above categories for 30-60 seconds. Rest 30 seconds and then repeat with a different exercise from each of the above categories. Rest 30 seconds and repeat with a different exercise from each of the above categories. 

A sample workout would be as follows:

Plank x 30-60 seconds
Tubing Torso Rotation x 30-60 seconds
Opposite Arm/Leg x 30-60 seconds
Rest 30 seconds

Vsit x 30-60 seconds
Bicycle Crunches x 30-60 seconds
Bridging x 30-60 seconds
Rest 30 seconds

Dead Bug x 30-60 seconds
Wood Chops x 30-60 seconds
Resisted Side Steps x 30-60 seconds
Rest 30 seconds

Perform a core conditioning workout 3x/week.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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