Core Exercises


Core Exercises for women that:

  • Strengthen your deep abdominal core muscles
  • Train the your spinal, pelvic floor and trunk core muscles
  • Safely tone the appearance of your abdomen (flatten your tummy)
  • Provide safe alternatives to intense core abdominal exercises 
  • Reduce your risk or pelvic floor problems worsening
core exercises

Core Exercises Videos and Information


Core Exercises for Beginners Home Routine

Physiotherapist guided core exercise routine for core toning and spinal strengthening ideal for women with pelvic floor problems

Breathing exercises for core

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises to Boost Your Core

Learn simple breathing exercises that improve your posture, pelvic floor and core abdominal control

unsafe core exercise

Unsafe Abdominal Exercises with Prolapse Problems

12 unsafe abdominal exercises to reduce prolapse worsening or avoid repeat prolapse

Core exercises for women

Core Exercises for Women Abdominal Toning Ball Routine

Seated abdominal ball workout for women seeking pelvic floor friendly abdominal core strength and stability exercise

Core exercises for osteoporosis

Beginners Core Exercises for Osteoporosis

Follow these Physiotherapist guided core exercises to start safely improving your bone health and upright posture

Core breathing exercises

Physio Fix for Core Dysfunction

2 key elements underlying core dysfunction. Here's how to address these 2 elements before commencing abdominal core exercises with core problems.

What are Core Exercises?

Core exercises train muscles surrounding the trunk that are known as the core muscles.

Core muscles include:

  • Abdominal muscles
  • Spinal muscles
  • Diaphragm
  • Pelvic floor muscles

Some intense core abdominal exercises are inappropriate for women who are at increased risk of pelvic floor problems.

Core abdominal muscles

Benefits of Abdominal Core Exercises

Core abdominal exercises can have a number of benefits:

Work with your pelvic floor muscles

Your innermost layer of abdominal muscles should contract with your pelvic floor muscles to help with bladder and bowel control.

Protect and support your abdominal organs

Your abdominal muscles protect your abdominal organs and assist in holding them in position.

Hold your joints together

Your innermost abdominal muscles wrap around your trunk and stabilize the joints in your spine and your pelvis.

Tone your abdomen

When your deep abdominal core muscles work as they should, they can flatten the appearance of your stomach.

Abdominal Core Exercise Guidelines

  • Learn to activate your core abdominal muscles using the correct technique
  • Use a gentle activation technique and never too strong
  • Start by contracting your deep abdominal muscles up to 10 seconds at a time
  • Breathe normally during your core exercises
  • Practice activating your core muscles up to 10 times a day
  • Perform your basic abdominal core exercises sitting, standing and then progress to walking

Inner Core Abdominal Muscles

All your abdominal muscles sit in layers over the front of your trunk below your rib cage.

The deepest innermost layer of your abdominal muscles are known as the Transverse Abdominis muscles. These deep abdominal muscles wrap around your trunk just like a corset covering your abdomen that wraps around your waist and fastens at your spine.

The Transverse Abdominis muscles help support your insides as well as your pelvis and your spine. These muscles are designed to be gently active for long periods of time.

At first it can take some time to find your deep core abdominal muscles and activate them correctly because they are deeply positioned and work very gently.

Outer Core Abdominal Muscles

The outer abdominal muscles are the ‘6 pack’ or Rectus Abdominis and External Oblique muscles. These muscles sit in layers above the deeper core abdominal muscles.

Intense exercises for the outer abdominal muscles can have an adverse effect on the pelvic floor. These muscles contract strongly and generate pressure in the abdomen, for example during coughing.

Imagine squeezing the sides of a sauce bottle so that pressure increases inside the bottle and the sauce is forced out.

In the same way if you squeeze in your abdomen strongly, you increase the downward pressure on your pelvic floor. If your pelvic floor is not strong enough to counteract this downward pressure it is forced downwards and pelvic floor problems such as pelvic prolapse can result.

Common Mistakes with Abdominal Core Exercises

1. Overbracing

Some women try to flatten their stomach and over brace their abdominal muscles which means they contract these muscles too strongly.

Over bracing the core abdominal muscles increases downward pressure onto the pelvic floor.

Women who habitually over brace their abdominal muscles often need to learn how to relax the core muscles in order to learn the correct amount of activation.

2. Breath holding

Holding your breath during core exercise doesn’t train the abdominal muscles to work normally (functionally) during everyday tasks. Try to breathe normally during core exercises.

3. Poor Posture

Good upright posture is key to core muscle function. If you slump forwards during core exercises you’ll have difficulty activating your core correctly. Try to use good upright posture during core exercises.

Strength and Core Workout DVD for Women

Strength & Core video is a pelvic floor friendly core exercise workout with Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway

This whole body workout strengthens your core abdominal and pelvic floor muscles in addition to whole body strength and posture training.

Available as immediate download or hardcopy.

Strength & Core Workout Download

Strength & Core Workout includes exercises designed to:

  • Exercise safely and avoid injury
  • Train your core abdominal muscles
  • Strengthen pelvic floor muscles
  • Strengthen and tone hips, butt and thighs
  • Improve posture with back strengthening
  • Improve body weight management
  • Improve flexibility

Learn More


Pelvic Exercises Physiotherapy


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