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The road to achieving a strong core includes exercises that can seem intimidating to a lot of people. What most people don’t know is that building ab strength isn’t just doing a million crunches a day. There are numerous workouts that you can do to improve your abdominal section.
When you work out your abs, you’ll be able to build a solid core that can make everyday tasks easier and improve your overall well-being. If you’re new to doing ab exercise, then you’re in luck. This article is for you. Try out these core exercises for beginners!
Benefits of Strengthening the Core Muscles
Strengthening your core muscles doesn’t only mean that you’ll have toned abs! Core training is a vital part of a well-balanced workout. By improving your core, you also help your body attain a better shape. Here are more reasons why you should do core exercises and enhance your abdominal muscles!
Improves Your Upper Body
Your core doesn’t only pertain to your ab muscles; it means your entire torso, including the muscles in your sides and back. Having a strong core can help you keep yourself upright better and have a good posture. And when you have a good posture, the risk of developing neck and back pain is lower. Aside from a better posture, a solid core keeps your trunk stabilized, allowing you to do various activities in an easier manner.
Total core strength and a good posture equal an improved balance. When you do a core workout, you also train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen, and allow them to work in harmony. It also means that you’re less likely to stumble or fall.
Reduces or Prevents Pain
Another perk of having a stable core is that it helps you feel better overall. Having a strong torso can reduce any pain you may be experiencing as your lower back and spine are better supported. It can also help you avoid the issues that come with sitting at your computer all day long, allowing you to feel and be at your best.
Is It Okay To Do Core Exercises Every Day?
You might be thinking that you need to do your core exercise routine every day to get those defined six-pack abs you’ve been dreaming of, but let us stop you right there. Just like how you exercise the other parts of your body, it’s recommended that you should only work them out at least two to three times a week and have ample rest in between those days. Training your midsection daily may result in fatigue and you may even injure yourself.
Core Exercises For Beginners
Building your core strength can level up your overall quality of life. We’ve rounded up some moves that target all areas of your midsection, from your rectus abdominis (the six-pack abs) to your obliques, and all the way to your transverse abdominis (the deepest core muscles). Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’ve been working on your core for years but want to go back to the basics, these core exercises for beginners can help you out. Give them a try!
This movement targets your lower and upper ab muscles. Begin by lying down on your back with your feet straight out in front of you. Lift your legs straight towards the ceiling. Ensure that you engage your abs. Exhale as you slowly lower your legs towards the floor or a mat to a 45-degree angle. Take a deep breath as you lift your legs again. Repeat 10 times.
Single Leg Lower & Lift
Lying on your back, place your left foot on the floor with your knee bent and then lift your right leg up toward the ceiling. Next, tilt your pelvis to press your low back into the floor. Hold this pelvic tilt while you lower the right leg down toward the ground, stopping at about 45 degrees. Bring it back up to the center. Repeat 10 times and then switch legs.
Lie down on your back with your knees bent 90 degrees, and feet flat on the floor. Keep your core tight as you lift your hips, backing off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold the position for five to 10 seconds. Lower to the floor, rest, and then repeat 10 to 12 times.
This ab workout is ideal for those who are just starting out with their fitness routine. Start by lying back with your legs bent at 90 degrees in the air, knees over the hip, arms rounded and hands gently resting on the backs of your thighs. Use your midsection to curl forward so that your head, shoulders, and upper back lift up off the ground and towards your knees as your elbows bend outwards. Lower your back a few inches off towards the floor, and then forward, completing one rep. Perform 30 reps.
If you’re ready to tackle a more challenging exercise, you can level up this movement by bringing your hands behind your head, or crossing your arms over your chest.
This ab workout is great for strength training and also a good alternative for those who want to feel the burn of a sit-up exercise without wearing out their back. Start by lying on your back with your hands behind your head. Slowly lift your shoulders off the floor and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle while fixing your gaze on your thighs.
Squeeze your abs as you reach your right elbow towards your left knee, straightening your right leg. Then move through your center and reach your left elbow toward your right knee, straightening the left leg. Alternate for about 30 seconds.
Pilates Ab Crunch
According to a pilates instructor, Including this movement in your routine can fine-tune your strength and mobility. Lie down on your back and bend your knees, feet flat on the ground. Ensure that your feet are open as wide as your hips. Place your hands behind your head. Exhale as you curl up with your head, neck, and chest. Try to pretend that you have an egg between your chin and your chest that you don’t want to crack. Gently pulse upwards 10 times and rest.
A side plank exercise makes you resist gravity as you try to bend your trunk sideways. This exercise will work your obliques, strengthen your glutes, and provide stability to your shoulders. To do a side plank, begin by lying down on your right side, supporting your upper body on your right forearm.
Position your left arm on your left side. Next, lift your hips and extend your left arm above your shoulder. Keep your weight supported on the forearm and right foot. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
The bird dog is an exercise that works the same muscle areas as a bicycle crunch, just in a different way. For your starting position, get on all fours with your palms and knees on the floor. Straighten your left arm out in front of you and your right leg behind you, balancing on your opposite hand and knee. Hold for a few breaths. Switch sides and repeat with your other arm and leg. Continue alternating, performing 10 reps on each side.
The name of this exercise may sound weird but trust us, not only does this help improve your torso, but it also helps with hip and shoulder mobility. To do this ab workout, lie face up with your arms extended towards the ceiling, your legs in a tabletop position, your knees bent at 90 degrees and stacked over your hips. This is your starting position.
Next, slowly extend your right leg in a straight line while simultaneously dropping your left arm overhead. Keep your arm and leg a few inches off the ground. Squeeze your buttocks and keep your core engaged the entire time. Make sure your lower back is pressed into the floor. Next, bring your arm and leg back to the start position. Repeat on the other side by extending your left leg and your right arm.
Spider Plank Crunch
Start in a push-up position with your hands on the ground directly underneath your shoulders, legs extended backward with your toes on the ground. Make sure that your body is in a straight line. Lift your right leg and bring your knee towards the outside of your right elbow. Return to plank position. Repeat the movement with your other leg. Do five reps on each side. If this is too challenging for you, simply hold a plank on your elbows or hands for 30 seconds at a time, for three rounds.
Core exercises strengthen the vital connection between your upper body and lower body. It stabilizes your body, gives you better posture, and supports your foundation, all of which can help prevent falls, decrease pains, and keep you more mobile as you get older.