Men's Fitness

Stability Workout

Work on your core strength and body control with these stability-enhancing exercises


Moves to improve core strength and balance

The gym might be your first port of call after Christmas indulgence­s, but before you WOD away your roast-potato paunch, consider first taking the time to correct your form and balance out any instabilit­ies. Future you – stronger and more stable as a result – will thank you for it. The following exercises, though they target different body parts, are primarily designed to activate your core and teach your body – particular­ly the less-heralded stabilisin­g muscles – how to handle unstable movement patterns. This type of stability training may not be sexy or particular­ly fun, but consistent applicatio­n will create coordinati­on, massively reduce your risk of injury and eliminate any overcompen­sations you’ve built up over the years. Pick and choose from this list, or throw all the moves together into a once-a-week conditioni­ng circuit.


MAIN BENEFITS: Hip mobility, and unilateral leg strength and stability.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your core stable. Take a large step back with your right foot, planting and then lowering your body until both legs are bent at right angles.

Exhale as you extend your legs. Lift your right foot, bringing your right knee toward your chest, then kick your front kick out.

Repeat with the other leg.


MAIN BENEFITS: Stability and strength through your core.

Assume a tabletop (all fours) position on the floor.

Reach out with one arm and extend the opposite leg straight behind you. Hold this extended position for a count of three.

Return and repeat on the other side.


MAIN BENEFITS: Strengthen your shoulder stabiliser­s and mid-back muscles.

Lie prone on a stability ball – your back should be flat and your chest should be off the ball.

Let your arms hang down directly beneath your shoulders, with feet about hip-width apart and palms facing down. Raise your arms to form a ‘Y’ shape, with thumbs facing up. Hold for two seconds, then return your arms to the start.


MAIN BENEFITS: Ankle mobility, unilateral quad strength and full recruitmen­t of the posterior chain.

Stand in front of a bench or chair. Lift one foot off the floor, with the toes of your grounded foot pointing forward. Lower yourself down, keeping your weight evenly distribute­d through your foot, and extend the non-standing leg out in front of you. Come down until your bum touches the bench, then drive through your heels to return to standing. If needed, lightly hold a door frame or pole to help you keep your balance. Allow a slight lean forward of your torso during the squat, while keeping your back straight.


MAIN BENEFITS: Hamstring and glute strength, hip mobility, and balance. Stand with feet close together and a kettlebell in your left hand. Plant your right foot down while slightly bending the knee. While keeping it straight, drive the left leg backwards until it’s parallel with the floor, as you hinge at the hips and lower the kettlebell down. Just before the kettlebell touches down, reverse the movement with control. Return your left leg to the starting position and repeat on the other side.


MAIN BENEFITS: This move teaches tightness in the core and strengthen­s your shoulder grip – not to mention your forearms, which will work overtime.

Lie on a bench or the floor.

Grip a pair of kettlebell­s upside down by the handles or ‘horns’, so the loaded section of the bells are above your hands, and your hands are by your shoulders, with elbows locked into your sides.

Squeeze the handles hard, tense your glutes, and press the weights above your chest.

Squeeze your pecs in the top position, then lower with control.


MAIN BENEFITS: Core strength and control, plus mobility and strength in the shoulders and upper back.

Sit down, legs extended straight out in front of you, and raise a kettlebell above your head.

Press the weight up so your bicep grazes your ear.

Return until the weight is level with the top of your chest – racking the kettlebell securely to take the strain off your shoulder joint.


MAIN BENEFITS: The high-to-low diagonal movement hits your abs from a unique angle, while increasing the rotational power and strength essential to a lot of sports. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball in both hands. Twist your torso to one side to position the weight on the outside of one thigh. Keep your back flat and your core engaged throughout. Lift the ball up and across your body with straight arms, rising up onto your toes as you lift the weight up and out to one side. Return to the start and complete all reps on that side before switching.


MAIN BENEFITS: Strengthen­s your core and stabilisin­g back muscles, while teaching limb engagement.

Lie flat on your back, keeping your spine in contact with the ground. Raise your arms straight up towards the ceiling and make a 90° bend at the hips and knees to create a ‘reverse tabletop’ with your shins.

Without any part of your spine losing contact with the floor, reach your left arm up above your head and extend your right leg.

Push your heel away and pull your toes back towards you as you extend – imagine you are standing on that leg.

Fully exhale as you reach the longest part of the movement. Without allowing your heel to touch the floor, slowly return back to the start position.

Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.


MAIN BENEFITS: Build unilateral leg strength, power and stability, while torching calories. Start by standing on your left leg. Drop into a slight squat position. Jump sideways to the right while landing on your right leg and bring the left leg behind your right ankle. Then reverse the direction with the opposite actions, swinging your arms side to side to create more momentum.

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