My Top Five (5) Core Exercises for Athletic Performance

Ashley Jones

Strength Conditioning Coach
Crusaders – Super 14

The Turkish Get Up
Lie on the floor, in a supine position (i.e. face up), next to an appropriate size kettlebell/dumbbell. Press the kettlebell/dumbbell vertically- directly above your shoulder. Once in position, keep your elbow locked, wrist straight, and your eyes on the implement. Sit up and bring your foot up the same side as your working arm close to your buttocks. Keeping your eyes on the weight, then push off your foot and come into a kneeling position on the opposite leg. It is okay to allow your free arm to assist slightly in sitting up. The main thing is to move slowly, keeping your working arm perpendicular to the ground and to finish in well supported position. Slowly straighten your torso, and then stand straight up, simply reverse the steps until you have reached your starting point.

The Barbell Rollout
I like to use an EZ curl bar for this exercise or a heavy duty AB Roller, load the EZ curl bar with 5kg plates and place on the ground. Kneel down in front of the barbell and grab the barbell with both hands (shoulder width apart). Slowly roll your arms away from your knees while keeping your arms fully extended in a straight and locked position. Keep going until your torso almost touches the floor; reverse the action to return to the start position.

The Full Contact Barbell Body Twist
Load a barbell on one end and stick the other end in the corner. Stand in front of the bar and grasp the end of the bar with both hands around the sleeve one top of each other. Keep the entire body tensed and pivot on the balls of the feet as you turn the bar the same direction as your feet pivot to, keep the body tall at all times and go as far as you feel comfortable, pause and then rotate to the other side.

The Side Deadlift
Perform this movement by standing to the side of a loaded barbell and grasp it directly in the center. Drop into a conventional starting position, keeping the hips straight, push the floor away from you as you stand, keep the chest up at all times and ensure that your hips do not push to one side as you stand up, slowly lower the bar down and repeat for the required number of reps.

The Masoe Full Body Sit Up
With a partner, have one partner lean against a wall for support, whilst the other partner assumes a sit up position on the floor with his feet under the partners, have the partner lay back with arms over his head and initiate a sit up from there. Move through a full sit up into the standing position facing your partner, having a third person is advisable just in case the partner can not get up and falls down, slowly return to the starting position and repeat. This can be done with light bands over a chin bar initially to provide assistance to get up.


Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones specialist in the physical preparation of rugby athletes. He has worked with professional sports teams that include Sydney Kings, Newcastle Knights, Parramatta Eels, Northern Eagles, Crusaders, New Zealand All Blacks, and Australian Wallabies. Irish by Ancestry, Australian by Birth, Japanese by Accident and a Kiwi by Choice.

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