The Best Core Exercises For 7 Major Sports

Every sport uses different muscles in different ways. But if one thing’s for sure, the core always plays a role. That’s why it’s a good idea to focus on sport-specific exercises. The core is the center of your strength. If it’s not in good shape, the rest won’t even matter! Think of it like your body’s main pillar of support.

These moves imitate the motions of each sport, letting you train the most-used muscles. It’s also a great way to hold onto that edge during off season.1 To get started, check out the best core exercises for 7 major sports.


Specific Core Exercises For Major Sports

1. Alternating Kicks For Swimming

Alternating kicks will help for swimming

Alternating kicks are simple, yet powerful. The movement mimics the motion of swimming while strengthening your lower body. Ensure your legs don’t touch the floor and your core will be in for a serious workout.



  • Lay down on your stomach.
  • Extend your arms in front of you. Align your neck with your spine.
  • Lift your arms, chest, and feet (above). Engage your stomach.
  • Raise your right arm and left leg.
  • Immediately raise your left arm and right leg.
  • Alternate quickly to create a “swimming” motion.
  • To complete one set, continue for 30 seconds.

2. Medicine Ball Squats For Basketball

Medicine ball squats will help for basketball

Do medicine ball squats to improve your jumping ability. The movement will build your legs and glutes, making your take-offs stronger and better. Using a weighted ball will add resistance.



  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold a medicine ball against your chest.
  • Bend your knees and lower your butt, creating a 90-degree angle with your knees.
  • Keep the ball at chest level.
  • Explode upward and throw the ball straight up.
  • Let the ball drop to the floor.
  • Complete 10 to 15 reps.

Never throw a medicine ball at home or around other people. Instead, do it at a gym that has a space designed for these exercises.

3. Crossover Crunches For Cross Country Or Track

Crossover crunches will help for cross country and/or track


The criss-cross motion of this move recreates the act of running. At the same time, it uses the core muscles that help you run. Any sport that involves running will highly benefit from this move.


  • Lie down on your back. Plant your feet flat on the ground.
  • Place your hands just behind your ears.
  • Using your torso, lift your upper body. Point your right elbow toward your left knee.
  • Simultaneously, raise your left knee toward your right elbow.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Repeat with your left elbow and right knee. This completes one rep.
  • Complete 10 to 15 reps.

4. Medicine Ball Throws For Baseball And Softball

Medicine ball throws will increase your baseball and softball


Compared to swinging bats and tossing balls, throwing a weight is more intense. And that’s exactly why you should do it! A medicine ball engages the same muscles you use during baseball. Every time you rotate, work your core muscles. This will boost your range of motion on the field.


  • Hold a medicine ball with your side facing a wall.
  • Quickly rotated toward the wall and release the ball.
  • Complete 10 to 15 reps.

5. Crunch Chops For Tennis

Crunch chops will help with tennis


A crunch chop trains the muscles in your arms. It also works your shoulders so you can properly swing a racket. Even your core and hips will work out, helping you run and shuffle with ease.


  • Lie down on your back.
  • Lift up your legs, creating a 90-degree angle with your pelvis. Keep them together.
  • Extend your arms above your head. Clasp your hands together.
  • Using your abs, lift your upper body and separate your legs into a ‘V’ shape.
  • Simultaneously, “chop” your arms in between your legs.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Complete 10 to 15 reps.

6. Medicine Ball Twists For Football

Medicine ball twists will help with football


To perfect your passes, do medicine ball twists. Rotating with a weighted ball will force your core to work hard. The move will also engage your arm, butt, and leg muscles.


  • Sit on the floor and bend your knees.
  • Plant your feet flat on the floor, or keep them slightly raised.
  • Using your abs, raise your upper body into a 45-degree angle.
  • Hold the medicine ball in front of you.
  • Slowly twist to your right and tap the floor with the ball.
  • Swiftly return to center.
  • Twist to your left and tap the floor. This finishes one rep.
  • Complete 10 to 15 reps.

7. Scissor Kicks For Soccer

Scissor kicks will help with soccer

Scissor kicks will boost your leg strength. This will help you run, kick, and shuffle around like a pro. To get the most out of this exercise, make sure your feet don’t touch the floor.


  • Lie down on your back.
  • Prop yourself up on your elbows.
  • Hover your legs a few inches off the floor.
  • Kick the right leg up and keep the left leg steady.
  • Swiftly switch legs to complete one rep.
  • Complete 10 to 15 reps.

If you’d like, do more than 10 to 15 reps. Increase the count slowly and over time. This way, you can limit the risk of sports injuries.2