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Rugby Fitness & Conditioning
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Core Stability > Training Concepts

The abdominal muscles, for example, are often only trained with sit-ups, and this trunk curling movement does not necessarily relate to the abdominal's functional role in supporting your trunk while running, tackling, or changing direction quickly.

By performing sit-ups you would be training the abdominals as mobilisers. They rarely access the most important abdominal muscles of all - the 'transversus abdominis' and the small back muscles, the 'multifidus'.

Level 1 Core Stability Drills
There are many low level drills that involve the subtle recruitment of the trans abs while lying, kneeling or balancing. These drills are the best option for players new to core stability or with an history of back pain.

Level 2 Core Stability Drills
Level 2 drills are more dynamic and challenging and often include the recruitment of several muscles .

Level 3 Core Stability Drills
These challenging movements are more sport specific and involve the recruitment of several muscle groups including the core muscles, that work together as a 'kinetic chain.' For example, lunging with a medicine ball or being pushed by a partner.

Swiss Ball Drills
An unrivalled tool for recruiting and developing your core muscles is the Swiss ball, (also known as an exercise ball, gym ball, or Fitball) a unique fitness aid that 'wakes up' the core stabilisers through exercises that closely mimic the forces the body has to experience playing Rugby League. A variety of progressive exercises on the ball can be used, encompassing the principles of Levels 1, 2 and 3.


The Core Workout is one of the world's leading texts on Swiss ball drills and the development of core stability for sport. The manual includes over 250 illustrations of Swiss ball exercises to help you develop core stability and maximise your power, speed and control potential for Rugby League.

There are also sections on weight training with a swiss ball, stretching, and drills using two balls and partner drills. Click here for more information.

ABOVE - Level 1 Drill - single leg raise while recruiting trans abs. Visit the Rugby League Fitfiles for more core stability drills..
Visit the Rugby League Fitfiles for Core Stability drills
ABOVE - Level 2 Drill - Side bridge challenging the the control and endurance of the lateral core stabilizing muscles. This drill may also be used as a test of core stability endurance. Click here for more info...