Strength training: 3 core exercises for better posture

Strength training: 3 core exercises to improve posture

Posted by for Strong Women

Whether you’re strength training or hunched over your desk, poor posture isn’t just bad for your back and shoulders – it also puts your core to sleep. Blast your abs and relieve tension with this easy three step core workout

Hands up if you still have a sore back, crunchy neck or stiff shoulders (assuming you can put your hand up without feeling a twinge, that is)? 

Yep, well over a year into the pandemic and still working from home, it’s clear that our makeshift office furniture is not our posture’s friend, especially when stooped over laptops on sofas or dining chairs for 8 hours a day. 

Surveys throughout the multiple lockdowns have found that not everyone is thriving from their living room - those who work from home tend to report higher levels of stress and worse sleep than those in offices. 

Whilst back pain might be affecting our productivity and happiness levels,  hunched backs have all kinds of ramifications, including fatigue, shallow breathing and poor digestion. So sit up and listen: these effective core exercises will strengthen your centre so you’re standing tall and proud.

SINGLE ARM FARMERS CARRY

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Strength training: engage your core when performing a single arm farmers carry.

1. Grab a heavy kettlebell (if you don’t have one, pick up something heavy such as a big container of cat litter, a chair or anything else that feels heavy and has a handle to grip). 

2. Hold the kettlebell (or makeshift weight) in your right hand. While keeping your back and arm straight (down at your sides), walk forward in a straight line. 

By engaging your core and retracting the shoulders, you should be able to walk with the weight hanging straight down – rather than dragging alongside you or bumping into your leg. 

Walk 20 steps on one side. Repeat on other side 

SIDE PLANK WITH ROTATION

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Strength training: keep your body straight, like a plank of wood, during side plank.

1. Lie on your side, resting one forearm on the ground (with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder). 

2. Lift your body up so that only your forearm and feet are on the ground (feet can be stacked or placed one in front of the other). 

3. Be sure to keep your body in a straight line like a plank of wood  – without your bum sticking out behind you or hips thrusting forward. 

4. Then, stretch the opposite arm above your head toward the sky, pause and bring the same arm back down, reaching underneath your waist toward the wall behind you. 

Do 10 reps each side

HOLLOW HOLD

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Strength training: keep your lower back flat to the floor during hollow hold.

1. Lie on the floor and engage your abs by driving your lower back into the ground. 

2. Next, raise your legs (keeping them straight) several inches above the ground before raising your arms (also keeping them straight) behind your head. 

3. If this feels too challenging, bend the knees. You can also place the arms in line with the shoulders instead of over your head. 

4. The most important thing is to keep your lower back flat against the floor.

Hold for 45 seconds. Complete 3 rounds of entire set

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Miranda Larbi

Miranda Larbi is the editor of Strong Women and Strong Women Training Club. A qualified personal trainer and vegan runner, she can usually be found training for the next marathon, seeking out vegan treats or cycling across London on a pond-green Tokyo bike.

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