As a CrossFitter, I spend most of my time working with weights, especially explosive barbell exercises and high-intensity workouts featuring functional movements. But I also make sure to put the weights down and include some mobility and core work in my training.
Why? Because a stronger midline is the anchor to any strength work. It’s essential for supporting weight overhead, it’s needed when bracing for any pulling or pushing, and it can help prevent injuries, particularly in the lower back. It’s even more important in CrossFit workouts as weighted moves are often performed faster and under fatigue.
I found a workout from personal trainer Stef Williams, who is also the founder of the workout app WeGLOW. The routine is designed to build core strength, improve mobility and raise your heart rate, so I thought it would be the perfect choice as a finisher. You only need one piece of equipment—a gym ball.
Watch Williams’s Instagram post to see her demonstrate the moves.
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Each move in this routine is performed for 30 seconds, apart from the jump squats which should be done for one minute. You do three core exercises, then one minute of jump squats, then a different three exercises, another minute of jump squats, then a final three core moves and—you guessed it—one last minute of jump squats.
I found the gym ball exercises were the most challenging, as they required a combination of strength, stability and balance. I focused on engaging my core throughout the entire session by tucking my pelvis in, keeping my ribcage down and squeezing my glutes.
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Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.