core exercises

We can’t always have a gym available to us…

Therefore we often have to get creative with our workouts. One of the main areas I focus on when training at home is my core. However, it can be challenging to think of movements outside of the sit up and plank. I want to share these core exercises that you may not have thought of to give you some variance in your home workouts.

Hopefully, you may learn something new and take away a new exercise to give a go the next time you;re training at home. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments at the bottom of the page 🙂

The first core exercise I use is the V Up…

This exercise has been around for some time and is a favourite of gymnasts. The reason for this is that, done properly, the V Up is an explosive movement. It works both the push and pull for the upper and lower body towards the bodies core at the same time. Therefore, learning control within this movement will give you greater control over your bodies movement. This then allows for efficient skill transfer to other movements – win win really!!!

The above video, courtesy of highlights just how easily this can be performed with no equipment. When looking for core exercises I look for the most value for money. That means the core exercises that will give me the biggest benefit with hte least equipment. The v up is one of the best for that and an exercise you should try.

How to use:

Give 20 seconds on, 40 seconds off for 10 rounds a go. As you improve, extend the work period and shorten the rest period until you are at 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Once here, go Tabata and persom 8 rounds of 20 on, 1 off.

Another favourite of mine is the Hollow Rock/Hold…

Of all core exercises, this has arguably the most potential to benefit your core strength… if done correctly. The hollow position is a key position in bodyweight movement and control. It will teach you how to stabilise your mid line and brace the spine. This position then transfers to other movements that we learn.

Performing the hollow rock/hold involves muscular endurance of the midsection. This is vital for the protection of your spine. As shown in’s video above, don’t just think of it as a core exercise. Instead, think of it as positional work for core stability that translates to other movements.

How to use:

Begin with learning to find a good hollow position – no rocking. From here build up the time you can hold this position for and perform repeat holds for around 5 sets. Once a 90-120 second hold is manageable begin working on rocks. Similar to the v up, perform work rest intervals of hollow rocks to progress. If you struggle, break down the movement by bringing your arms down to your side, bending your knees, or both.

Finally, it’s time to go all Superman with arch holds…

So, the first two core exercises have you facing towards the ceiling whilst performing them. The likelihood is you will feel them most in your abs. Arch holds are the opposite of hollow holds and will work your posterior chain as opposed to your anterior core. It is also going to expose any tightness in your chest and hips – hello mobility wake up call.

The above video from Power Monkey Fitness outlines the key stages to perform this movement. You can do this without a PVC pipe so another no equipment movement or use a towel. Chances are that when you first perform this movement you will be shaking and last about 1/3 the time you had planned! However, as you progress it serves as an excellent way to strengthen the posterior and open up the body.


Begin by performing small working sets. You may need to open mobilise your chest, shoulders and hips to begin with. If necessary, break down the movement as with the hollow rock/hold. Bring your arms down to your side, bending your knees, or both. As you progress, lengthen the hold intervals until you can hold for a couple of minutes for 3-5 sets.

So there we have it, my three favourite core exercises for home workouts…

Hopefully you have taken something away from this post to use in your own workouts. As with any movement, focus on correct technique to begin with and progress from there. Only move onto more difficult variations once you are moving well otherwise benefits may be lost.

If you have any ideas for home core exercises please do let me know in the comments below 🙂


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