You only need four moves and ten minutes to build a stronger core

Target your abdominals, obliques and lower back with this workout

Woman doing core exercises at home on a yoga mat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you want a stronger core, you can’t just do sit-ups every day. While the floor-based exercise is great for targeting the muscles on the front of your stomach, it misses out other important components of your core.

A varied exercise regime is crucial to building comprehensive core strength, which is why we like this workout from NASM-certified personal trainer Sadielee Thomas. It targets a range of core muscles in four moves, including those found along the sides of your abdomen and in your lower back.

How to do Sadielee Thomas' core workout

A post shared by Sadielee Thomas

A photo posted by sadieleethomas on

Aim for 12 to 15 reps of each movement, moving through the entire workout two to three times depending on your fitness level.

Thomas wears a pair of 2lb ankle weights to increase the difficulty of the workout, which you can also do to challenge yourself. But it’s always best to do the workout without weights first and then progress by adding a load.

Benefits of core training

The core is a group of muscles within your trunk area that connects your upper and lower body. Most everyday movements involve your core muscles in some way, as they’re involved in all kinds of movement patterns, including pushing, pulling, standing and walking. Practicing core exercises like those above will improve the way you move in everyday life and during exercise.

Your core muscles also surround and support your spine, so there’s a chance that strengthening your core could alleviate back pain. Building a strong core can improve your posture too, making it easier for your body to hold itself in a comfortable, upright position.

Want more routines like this way? Have a look at these core-strengthening exercises, or read up on how to plank properly with correct form.

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.