Nearly everyone has heard about the benefits of exercise and the good it does to both the body and the mind.  Most people will currently enjoy these benefits by either going to the gym, playing sport or just going for a long walk with a friend.

To continue enjoying these benefits, it is important to ensure the body stays fit and healthy.  Now in itself, this sounds like a bit of a paradox – ‘one must keep the body fit and healthy to be able to do exercise to become fit and healthy’.  Though it does seem strange, there are specific exercises that can be done that will help to keep the body in a good condition.

These exercises are probably not considered ‘exercise’ in themselves, but they are specific movements that help to ‘turn on’ a particular muscle or group of muscles.  It is this ‘turning on’ of a muscle that will help to keep one’s body strong and less likely to become sore and/or injured.  This is important for numerous reasons but specifically because these muscles are responsible for the smooth transition of forces between the lower and upper body. It is imperative that these glute/hip/core complexes are strong and stable to ensure that injuries are avoided.

For those of you who are reading this that are current or past OPUS clients, these exercises will look familiar, but they bear being re-shown as they form a simple sequence that can really help to stabilise your core, back and increase your overall stability.

These movements are best performed daily to ensure the muscles are ‘turned on’ and ready to work.  More specifically, they would ideally be completed before any sports, running or gym work.


Lay on your side with your hips and knees flexed to 90 degrees and support your neck with your forearm or towel. Keeping your heels together, raise your top knee towards the ceiling. Pause, and lower to the start position.  Try to avoid rolling the top hip backwards as the knee lifts.

Sets: 1

Reps: 30 per side


Glute Bridge

Lay on your back with your knees bent (about 90 degrees) and your heels on the floor.  Keeping your core tight and your spine in neutral, push your heels into the floor to lift your pelvis towards the roof.  Regression: Only push heels into the floor - don't lift the pelvis off the floor.  Progression: Single leg glute bridges.  Try to articulate your spine by rolling up and down through each vertebrae.

Sets: 1

Reps: 20 double leg, 10 single leg


Single Leg Extension

Lay on your back with your legs in table-top and arms resting on the floor by your side.  Keeping your core tight and your spine in neutral, extend one leg at a time towards the floor, keeping the other leg in table-top.  Ensure core is kept strong so lower back doesn't arch.

Sets: 1

Reps: 20 total



Lying on the floor with only your forearms and toes touching the floor to hold your body up.  Keep your body strong and straight and away from the floor by contracting your abdominals and not letting your body sag in the middle.  Your body should be tight and held in a straight line without your bum pointing up or down.

Sets: 1

Reps: Try and hold for a minute.  If pain in back occurs then immediately stop.


Side Plank

Lie on your side with your legs outstretched and with one foot in front of the other, or one of top of the other (harder) and with your forearm underneath your shoulder.  Hold your core in tight and lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling so only your arm and feet are touching the floor.  Hold your body in a straight line without letting your hips sag towards the floor.

Sets: 1

Reps: Try and hold for 30-45 seconds per side