There is a tonne of commercials that will try to sell you the latest machine that works your core. You don't need them!

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There is a tonne of commercials that will try to sell you the latest machine that works your core. You don’t need them! You don’t even need a gym membership. Everything you need to have a great core workout can be found at home.

There are many important reasons for strengthening your core.

The core’s complex muscle structure is key to movement and transferring energy throughout the body, and experts say good core strength is key to mobility.

Poor core strength, meanwhile, can impact your balance, weaken your back, and even cause incontinence.

Here are some exercises that you can do today to strengthen your core. Of course, before you start any new exercise program, you should always consult your doctor to see if the exercises are right for you.



  1. Just done these on top of weights and twenty minutes on treadmill. Please include exercises for COPD sufferers. There are thousands.

  2. Sandy Benson  

    Arthritic knees and hips prevent squatting. Any exercises that would help me get some muscle conditioning as I cant even get out of a bath without assistance.

  3. Sue Davies  

    Thanks for these – there doesn’t seem to be any real difference between an “assisted squat” & a “half squat”. However, it would be better to be able to see the knees & toes of the subject from the side during these exercises as it is truly important to keep them in line.

  4. Val  

    I’ll look forward to graduating to these further down the track. They look great for bones that have weakened and arthritis and other such that have taken a toll. I think it is important to note though that whilst some over 60’s already face these issues and blockers to exercise, others are still going strong. I am 65 and attend a gym class 3 times a week. My fellow attendees are in their 20’s and 30’s – regular gym goers and I do what they do. That includes Tabata (e.g. squats/push ups/burpees etc. for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off and repeat 8 times before you rest). I can do 40 push ups in a minute – less if I am fussy and really flatten myself out at the bottom though. My current longest plank on elbows is 12 minutes. That was last year for a national plank contest which I saw in The Age, entered and won. So 60’s plus, can I suggest if you just haven’t exercised in a while but are still healthy, to get yourself checked and OK’d by your medico and then see what you can do. After 20 years of occasional walking only, I started at my local gym. I began with 10 minutes of cardio and an exercise program of 10 x 2 per exercise on the cross core rings of chest press and pull ups plus the same for some gentle crunches. I was initially told not to do more; just to do them better each time. I really thought that would be all I could manage in my early 60’s.

    That was 2 years ago. Weekly, I now do a 45 minute Boot Camp, a Metafit HIIT class, Beat Pilates class (lots of pulsing in every position you can imagine) and 50 minutes of movement cardio plus core work afterwards. I don’t take the lift unless I am going more than 4 floors. I can sprint to catch a plane – had to do that 2 weeks ago when I accidentally set the alarm for an hour later than I should have for a 6.05 am flight. I caught the plane but only because I was fit.

    OK, I am having fun sharing my achievements and I am proud of what I have achieved. It is also ongoing commitment and hard work to keep this going every week. I am retired and I don’t think I could have managed it whilst working the full on full time job I had before I retired. I know others do work and exercise though as I see them at my gym. They have my respect. But I am aware that too often people think ‘fitness and over 60’ is an oxymoron. It is not. Don’t sell yourselves short. Get checked, start slow and build. If you can afford a gym choose it well for one that understands older people but not one that thinks all older folk are past it. Get your health back, get your fitness back, get all the benefits that go with that and enjoy being you.

    • Julie Hock  

      Val: fantastic stuff! I’m 74 and l train with Kettlebells, and after a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and the subsequent medication (Cortisone and Methotrexate) to control the inflammation, today I learned that my CRP levels are now down to 7 – a big change from the 122 they were a year ago. I put this down to my disciplined approach to training and the benefits of being gaining core strength and flexibility. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go off the meds. I see so many older women who can barely get out of al chair without assistance, walk hunched over and cant carry anything heavier than a banana. I’ve been working out for many years now, and dont intend to give up either!

      • Maria S  

        So good to hear your story! Well done, you are an inspiration.

    • S_G  

      I used to be a daily gym junkie but an injury saw me stopped for a while and when i dud start back at the gym i asked for someone to help me statt a new program to ease back into it. That session with a trainer saw me unable to walk without extreme pain for a week. now I’m finding it hard to start again. How do I find a gym or a trainer who understands that over 60s are not the same kind of achievers as 20-somethings are?

  5. Helen  

    These are a great idea but I agree with Sue Davies (previous post) that it is essential to see the knees and feet, in fact the whole body, from the side. Thanks for posting.

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