It only takes four moves to develop your core and strengthen your obliques without weights

Strengthen your core to boost your balance, improve your posture and reduce lower back pain

Woman doing a side plank at home.
(Image credit: Getty)

You don't need to go to the gym or invest in expensive equipment to train your core. 

Bodyweight exercises are a great way to target your midsection muscles, so you can enjoy a great workout pretty much anywhere—just unroll your yoga mat and away you go. 

This four-move routine from fitness trainer Elise Young (@Elisesbodyshop) may seem simple, but it's sure to help boost your balance, improve your posture and strengthen your core muscles. 

To do it, you'll perform 30 hollow flutters, 12 side plank rotations, 20 cross bicycles and 10 bear opposite releases, resting as needed between exercises. Repeat this sequence three times to complete the workout.

If any of these exercises are new to you, don't worry. You can watch Young demonstrate each one in her video below. 

Watch Elise Young’s four-move core workout

This workout targets the internal and external obliques in particular. These are the muscles that run down the side of your abdomen, responsible for twisting and side-to-side bending movements. 

You will also hit deep-lying core muscles like the transverse abdominis and multifidus, which support the lower back and improve your stability. 

This is why core workouts are important for so much more than building "six-pack abs". These muscles are the foundations of a fit and functional body, improving the way you move, elevating your performance in compound exercises like squats, reducing your risk of injury and even boosting your balance, so it pays to train them.

If this has left you hungry for more core training, try adding this six-move deep-core session to the end of your next workout. Or, if you really want to test yourself, give this 15-minute core dumbbell workout a go.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.