You don’t need sit-ups to strengthen your core — try these two moves instead

This quick stability workout helps develop your abs, boost your balance, and improve your posture in just 10 minutes

Sweat trainer Kelsey Wells performing a core exercise
(Image credit: Sweat / Kelsey Wells)

Core stability work should be a key part of everyone's training plans, and not just because you want a sculpted six-pack. 

"A strong core is essential for having proper posture," Sweat fitness app trainer Kelsey Wells explains. "But the biggest benefit [of stability training] is strengthening all the muscles in your core, which will aid you in easier and better movement throughout your life."

Better yet, you don't need any pricey equipment to get started. Wells has shared an accessible core stability workout which exclusively uses a ball or pillow, although you can also add a yoga mat for some extra cushioning, if you like. 

It's not a complex routine either. There are just two moves — variations on the leg raise and tuck-up — performed for four sets of 10 repetitions each. 

Watch Wells' demonstrations of each exercise, then try them for yourself — it shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes. She uses a ball, but if you don't have one to hand she says you can easily sub in a pillow or cushion. 

Watch Kelsey Wells' two-move stability workout

Your core muscle plays a vital role in your body, containing multiple mid-body muscles responsible for supporting your spine, protecting you from injury, and providing power for full-body movements, from walking to running to squatting. 

Fortunately, Wells' workout is designed to recruit a wide variety of these muscles for maximum benefits. "Every exercise in this [stability training] series is targeting the multiple muscle groups that make up your core," she explains. 

"It's not just the visible abs you might see, you have internal and external obliques, your transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis. Exercises such as these, especially when combined in a workout, mean you are working all of your major core muscles."

If you want to add these moves into your exercise routine, Wells recommends tagging them on to the end of a strength training session that targets other muscle groups (such as a leg workout or a resistance band arm workout). 

"You could also incorporate these exercises into a bigger abs workout to make it more advanced," she adds. Or you could alternate Wells' moves with some time using an ab roller to work the muscles around your midsection. 

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.


Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.