If you’re looking for an intense workout to strengthen your midsection, try these abs and core exercises for beginners. They’re fire!
When you think of a strong core, you’ll most likely think of someone doing loads of sit-ups and crunches to grow their abdominal muscles.
While this is true in certain aspects, developing core strength is much more than a matter of physical appearance. It can help make your everyday tasks much easier and amplify your overall well-being.
In truth, whether you have six-pack abs or not is primarily influenced by various factors such as your diet, body fat percentage, and genetics.
There are many scenarios where people with washboard abs actually have weaker core strength than someone who doesn’t but works on their core consistently.
Having a strong core is vital for a healthy active lifestyle. Our core allows us to control the position and movement of the trunk over the pelvis to enable force production between the upper and lower body.
For the average person, this helps them sustain the ability to get on and off their couch, sit comfortably at a desk, or bend down to pick up a box.
According to research, having a solid core will lower the risk of overuse injuries, and can promote pliability and alleviation of rehab from severe injury.
Moreover, it improves the ability to perform every activity and enhances sports performance.
Abs And Core Exercises For Beginners
Below is a list of 7 exercises that you can include in your training regimen today! It is a comprehensive core training exercise that should cover the upper, middle, lower abs, and obliques.
These exercises are for beginners and it does not require any equipment, all you need is your body weight and a little space to ramp up your midsection.
Building your core strength will require a combination of dynamic and static core exercises that will target all angles of your core – a series that targets all 360 degrees of your core.
To make this into a workout routine you can choose any 4 exercises below and practice on them in any order. Take your time to perform each rep with the main focus on having a good form.
Use these abs and core exercises for beginners as a starting point to make a body transformation!
1. Six-Inch Leg Raises
The 6-inch leg raise is a fantastic exercise that tones and strengthens muscles in your lower abdomen and legs.
Here is all you need to know about this exercise that can assist you to tone the midsection:
- Lie on your back with your feet together and hands by your sides. Place your palms underneath your butt to remove the gap in the lower back. Your body is straight.
- Engage your core as you lift your legs until they are 6 inches off the ground. Hold this position for 3 seconds.
- Return to the starting position.
- Repeat this movement for 10 reps.
2. Kneeling Plank
This is a regression exercise to the standard plank that will target your core whilst improving your form and breathing.
Doing this with perfect form will add a lot of attention to your abs whilst keeping the body safe and secure.
- Begin on all fours with your elbows on the floor and hands facing forward. Your feet are together and legs extended.
- Squeeze your core and glutes as tight as you can and lean slightly forward until your shoulders are stacked directly on top of your elbows. Press your elbows down into the ground and drag your elbows back towards your belly button to make your abs fire harder. Your back should be straight and your butt is down.
- Hold this position for 20 seconds.
3. Side-Lying Leg Raises
This exercise is a great way to build strength and endurance in the obliques, outer thighs, and hip abductors. The movement path requires you to be lying on your side and pushing away your leg from your midline.
You can find out more about this exercise and its variations in this side-lying leg raise tutorial:
- Start by lying down on your right side with your head resting on your right hand. Your body should be in a straight line with feet stacked on top of each other and legs extended. Place your left hand in front of your stomach for extra support.
- Exhale as you gradually raise your left leg up until it’s about further than shoulder-width apart.
- Inhale as you lower your leg back to the starting position.
- Repeat this movement 10-12 reps, followed by switching to the other side.
4. Russian Twists
The Russian twist is an excellent exercise that develops your core (especially the obliques) and shoulder strength, which involves contracting the abdominals to create a twisting motion in the torso.
Here’s an awesome Russian twist tutorial to give you an idea of what we’re talking about. To perform this, you will:
- Begin by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Elongate and straighten your spine at approximately 45 degrees angle in relation to your torso and thighs, creating a V-shape.
- Interlace your fingers in front of your stomach or clasp your hands together.
- Engage your core as rotate your torso to the right side, then back to the center, and then to the left. This is one rep.
- Repeat this movement for 10-12 repetitions. You can make this more challenging by lifting your feet 2-4 inches off the ground.
5. Bicycle Kicks
The bicycle kick is another great exercise to strengthen your lower abs and obliques.
This exercise creates a continuous alternating motion of one leg extended and the other close to the chest, which is performed in a slow and controlled fashion.
- Start by lying on your back with your feet together and legs fully extended. Interlace your hands behind your head and keep your core tight. Engage your glutes and core to ensure that your lower back is flat on the ground.
- Lift your feet up 2-6 inches off the ground followed by an exhale as you slowly draw in your right knee towards your chest whilst keeping your left leg straight.
- Return your left leg back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite leg.
- Repeat this movement between 12-18 reps.
6. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are another killer core exercise that puts your abs under stress and gives your shoulders a good burn.
This is a low-impact exercise that also strengthens many muscle groups which includes your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
- Begin in a push-up position where your arms are extended at shoulder-width apart with your wrists being directly beneath your shoulders. Your legs are straight and your feet are together. Engage your glutes and core to ensure your body is in a straight line.
- Slowly draw your right knee towards your chest whilst keeping your left leg straight. Start slow and use a small range of motion at first.
- Return your right leg to the starting position and repeat on the left leg.
- Repeat this movement for 20 seconds. If this variation is too hard, you can try placing your hands on an elevated surface and perform the same movement path to reduce the load on the upper body.
7. Kneeling Inchworms
Inchworms are not just adorable caterpillars that inch on a leaf, they also blossom into a wonderful moths.
The kneeling inchworm is a superb full-body exercise that puts much emphasis on the core, which promotes stability while testing your balance.
They also give a pleasant, relaxing stretch for your body.
- Begin on all fours where you are on your hands and knees, bring your hands back closer to your knees. Squeeze your glutes and core.
- Keeping your elbows locked out, you will walk your hands out as far as you can whilst keeping your glutes engaged. When you reach a certain point, you will feel your core muscles firing away.
- Gradually walk your hands back to the starting position until your wrists are directly under your shoulders.
- Repeat this movement for 8-10 reps.
Hopefully, these seven abs and core exercises for beginners will help you build a strong midsection and a perfect posture.