You only need six moves and an exercise ball to build strong 'deep core' muscles

Improve your balance and ease lower back pain by strengthening your 'deep core'

People performing core strengthening exercises on exercise balls
(Image credit: Getty / Westend61)

Developing your core takes more than just sit-ups and crunches; you need to work your "deep core" muscles if you want to build total midsection strength. 

One piece of equipment rarely considered for core training is an exercise ball (sometimes called a Swiss ball). However, this workout from personal trainer Rhiannon Bailey shows why it shouldn't be overlooked, activating your deep core muscles with just six moves.

If you don't own one, you can pick this highly-rated Trideer exercise ball up for less than $25 on Amazon.  

To try Bailey's session for yourself, complete 10 reps of each exercise in a circuit format, then repeat the routine for three rounds in total. Or, if you want an extra challenge, complete the circuit five times, resting as little as possible between exercises. 

Take a look at Bailey’s video below for a demonstration of each of the moves.

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's exercise ball 'deep core' workout

There’s a big difference between abs and core training. The term abs is usually used to refer to the rectus abdominis; the muscles on the front of the stomach responsible for the six-pack shape. However, the core is a collection of muscles that connect the upper and lower body. 

These muscles play a vital role in both exercise and everyday life. For example, deep core muscles like the transversus abdominis and multifidus stabilize the spine, while the internal and external obliques power twisting and bending movements. 

As a result, using core strengthening exercises like the ones in Bailey's workout can relieve lower back aches and pains, as well as making daily movements like picking objects up from the floor feel like a breeze.

This routine will also help develop your balance, with the exercise ball adding an element of instability to some movements. Think about squeezing your stomach muscles to engage your core, activating mind-muscle connection and maximizing each exercise's effectiveness.

If you're looking for more ways to use this piece of equipment, our guide on how to use a Swiss ball takes you through the best moves to practice for strength and recovery. There are also plenty of ways to build a strong core without equipment—just take a look at this 10-move equipment-free ab workout.

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.