Build Your Strongest Core EVER!

I want you to build your best ever core using the 5 level system that has worked for so many of the Leaner Stronger faithful.


A stronger core is going to help you not only now, but as you continue to age.

Benefits of having a stronger core include:

  • Prevention or relief from lower back pain

  • Improving your posture

  • Making you stronger, for day-to-day living AND in sports/exercise

So working on your core is really important. For anyone, at any age

Disclaimer - These aren’t the only core exercise Leaner Stronger client’s perform, but they’re pivotal in their core strengthening elements. These core exercises supplement their carefully planned, personalised programmes.

Figuring out what level you’re at:

First, you need to determine the level you are at with core exercises. This can be determined either physically or just by whether you understand what I’m about to say next.

The Physical Test

How long can you plank for?

By plank I mean with PROPER technique:

  • You must maintain a posterior pelvic tilt - (if you’re unsure what this is, Level 1 is your start point)

  • Your elbows must be underneath your shoulders, neither in front, or behind

  • Your body must stay parallel to the floor, without:

    • drifting forwards/backwards,

    • piking up (looking like a tent),

    • drooping down (like you’re thrusting the floor)

If you’re unsure on how your plank looks send me a video of your plank and i’ll give you some advice on what you need to work on!

Test results:

0-60s > Start at Level 1

60-90s > Start at Level 2

90+s > Start at Level 3

The results are in…
Now, let’s move onto the programme:

LEVEL 1 - Tabletop Holds

Tabletop holds

To do this movement correctly you must:

  • Tilt your hips backwards (squash your lower back onto the floor)

  • Raise your legs up so your shins are parallel to the floor (looking like a table top)

  • Drift your knees away from your hips, slowly.

  • Drift them away to the furthest point at which you can continue squashing your lower back on the floor.

  • Once you reach this point, hold it for up to 60s.

Once you can complete 3 sets of 60s, having drifted your knees at least 6 inches away from your hip bone, move onto Level 2.

LEVEL 2 - Elbow Planks

Elbows underneath shoulders

Elbows underneath shoulders

Hips in line with shoulders

Hips in line with shoulders

Hips tilted backwards (posterior pelvic tilt)

Hips tilted backwards (posterior pelvic tilt)

Now you’ve learnt how to posteriorly tilt your pelvis. We must take this into the Plank

Technique pointers:

  • Keep your elbows underneath your shoulders

  • Maintain posterior tilt of the hips

  • Hips must be in line with your shoulders (avoid dipping or piking)

Once you can hold for 3 sets of 60s, move onto Level 3 - The Hollow Tucks/Holds

LEVEL 3 - Hollow Tucks/Holds

Get your big girl pants on, because now you’re stepping it up a gear.

Hollow Tuck, with Position 1 arms

Hollow Tuck, with Position 1 arms

Single Leg Hollow Tuck, with Position 2 arms

Single Leg Hollow Tuck, with Position 2 arms

Full Hollow Hold, with Position 3 arms

Full Hollow Hold, with Position 3 arms

Technique pointers:

  • Tilt your hips into the group (squash the lower back to the floor)

  • Crunch your shoulder blades off the floor

  • Position your hands/arms into position 1(easy), 2(medium) or 3(hard)

Your progressions - with each progression, start with Position 1 arms, and move to position 2 then 3 after you complete 3 sets of 30s at that specific position.

  • Hollow tuck holds, 3 sets of 30s before you move onto…

  • Hollow holds (single leg tuck), 3 sets of 30s before you move onto…

  • Full hollow holds, 3 sets of 30s

Complete that, then you can move onto Level 4


LEVEL 4 - Hanging Knee Raise

Now you’re flying!

Almost literally now… because you’re taking your hollow holds from level 3, and putting it into action from the bars

Hanging Knee Raise1.jpg
Hanging Knee Raise2.jpg

Technique Pointers:

  • Active shoulders → pull your shoulders away from your ears

  • Hollow body position → like you were on the floor (the dish shape), pelvis tilted back, and core engaged

  • Bring your knees towards your chest, and lower them back to the start position in a controlled manner.

Now you’ve managed to smash 3 sets of 10 CLEAN reps

I think you might be ready for the big one…


LEVEL 5 - The Dragon Flag (banded)

The Holy grail….

Start Position

Start Position

Middle Position

Middle Position

Nearly the end….

Nearly the end….

Technique Pointers:

  • Tie a resistance band at chest level (when you’re standing)

  • Your head is positioned close to your anchor, and hands grabbing tightly, elbows tucked close to your body

  • Pull your feet up as high as possible to start

  • Begin to let your feet drop down towarsd the ground, keeping your lights straight as possible

  • As your feet fall to the ground, squeeze your buttcheeks and push your hips through

  • Continue to hold this body position as tightly as possible and you lower your feet towards the floor

Give yourself a huge pat on the back when you complete 1 rep of this

Bruce Lee would be proud of you

If you can do 5 reps banded

Try 1 unbanded

Work up to complete 1-5 reps of the dragon flags. 

You’re now a master of your core!

If you’ve dreamt about having a Rock Solid Core, and you’d like more personalised advice on how to do this, then why not send me a video of your plank and i’ll give you some advice on what you need to work on!

You can also book a FREE CONSULTATION with me and we can talk through any concerns you have, and all of your options to start achieving your health & fitness goals!

Book a free consultation here

If you’re interested in receiving super-high quality information for FREE, then subscribe to the Leaner Stronger Mailing list and prepare for your mind to be blown away

Subscribe for high-quality information

What Personal Training Is Really About

If I asked you  “What do you think Personal Training is about? These are just some of the lines of thoughts you may have had:

  • Someone being stood there kicking you into gear making you less ‘fat’ or more ‘fit’

  • Having someone there to tell you off for eating bad food

  • Paying someone to stand there and make you feel like you’ve been beasted until you can’t feel any body part anymore

Over the last 6 years, I’ve seen over 200 weight loss clients come through the doors and maybe 1% of them have actually wanted to be pushed to within an inch of their death bed.

So if we’re not just there to put you through pain and count to 10 for you, what are Personal Trainers really about?
Note: I don’t speak for all trainers, but at least this is what Leaner Stronger is all about!

First and foremost (this should be obvious but I’ll say it anyways)

We get our clients RESULTS


That’s what we’re paid to do

Results come in many shapes and forms 

But what you might not know, is how we get our clients results 

We can help you manage your life schedule to fit exercise and better nutrition in 

Life is super busy

The standard 9-5 doesn’t really exist much anymore. It’s more like 7am-7pm (at least) when you take into account commuting and/or looking after kids before and after the school run.

As busy parents/workers it leaves less and less time to actually look after ourselves through physical exercise and nutrition. 

With most of our clients, it’s because they can’t see where they have the time to fit in the time to exercise or prepare healthful meals. 

Or they don’t have the systems in place that work for them.

This is something we help with regularly! 

For example:

I have several clients who work busy jobs, and mention that they struggle to eat well at lunch time because they don’t have time to prepare lunch at home and have to buy lunch out. 

To save my clients time, I introduce them to tens, if not hundreds of quick cook recipes that work for both lunch and dinner. 
(I also send 10 brand new recipes to them EVERY WEEK) to increase their options and keep their nutrition fun if they want variability.  

These are meals that are:

  • Quick to prepare,

  • Easy to bulk cook and the foods can be taken to work.

  • Kids friendly – to save parents time cooking children separate meals to themselves.



We help people achieve things they never thought possible and feel CONFIDENT!

 It’s not uncommon for clients to come to me feeling pretty crappy about themselves.  

Feeling that they don’t deserve to feel good anymore.

They’ve either gained weight over years / decades and seen their confidence disappear, or they’ve struggled to manage their weight through various different diets they’ve tried [insert any FAD diet you can think of].

I genuinely hate the fact that people feel this way. It’s heart-breaking.

At Leaner Stronger it’s felt that everyone deserves the chance to feel great about themselves. A chance to feel like they’re doing good things for themselves. 

How do we do this?

Well, let’s make it clear that Personal Trainers are not psychologists or psychiatrists.

Through exercise and nutrition, we open up to all clients what it’s like to achieve goals and make improvements. 

Achievements that can be seen in the gym or out in day-to-day life:

  • Turning up to the gym

  • Learning how to do a movement they’ve never done before

  • Walking up stairs, pain-free, instead of using the escalators

  • Becoming an influence to other members of their family and inspiring them to take action and become healthier. 

  • Taking themselves from a high-blood pressure state and on medicine, to halving their medicines – something their doctor told them would never happen.  

These are all REAL results I’ve seen at Leaner Stronger. Naturally, they don’t just end there but we’d be here all week if I was to list everything our clients have achieved. 

We make people feel at home and welcome in the gym.

The idea of turning up to the gym can be daunting and can be enough to turn them away. 

I understand what it feels like to be nervous and anxious about turning up to the gym, because I’ve been there myself – my first real gym experience was one of the scariest things I’ve been through as person. I had no idea what I was doing.

So I know how uncomfortable it can be, and that’s why making the gym a positive and comfortable place to be is of upmost priority when it comes to working with clients.

At Leaner Stronger, every client can walk through the door and know they’re going to be taken care of in the best way possible 

I want my clients to achieve their goals, so from the moment they walk through the door, they’ll feel like they’re in a place where they can make themselves better and succeed.

As I’ve already said, achieving things can increase confidence, which in turn will contribute to putting a smile on your face.  

Note – you ARE allowed to smile in the gym, I promise! 

So if you’ve been sat on the fence about Personal Training or are now feeling a bit more informed, and you think it could be something you’d be interested then why not book a FREE CONSULTATION with me and we can talk through any concerns you have, and all of your options to start achieving your health & fitness goals!

Book a free consultation here

If you’re interested in receiving super-high quality information for FREE, then subscribe to the Leaner Stronger Mailing list and prepare for your mind to be blown away

Subscribe for high-quality information