Core exercises are important for building a strong and stable core, which includes muscles in your abdomen, lower back, hips, and pelvis. A strong core can help improve posture, stability, and overall functional fitness. Here are some of the best core exercises for beginners:
The plank is one of the best core exercises for beginners that targets your abs, back, and shoulders. To do a plank, start in a push-up position, with your forearms on the ground and your body in a straight line. Hold for 30-60 seconds, or as long as you can maintain proper form.
Russian twists target your obliques, which are the muscles on the sides of your abdomen. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, lean back slightly, and lift your feet off the ground. Hold your hands together in front of your chest and twist your torso to the right, then to the left, while keeping your back straight.
The Dead bug is a great exercise for targeting your deep core muscles. Lie on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Lower your right arm and left leg toward the ground while keeping your lower back pressed against the floor, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Leg raises are an effective exercise for targeting your lower abs. Lie on your back with your hands by your sides and your legs extended. Keeping your lower back pressed against the floor, raise your legs towards the ceiling and then lower them back down without touching the ground. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
Bicycle crunches are a dynamic exercise that targets your abs and obliques. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent. Bring your right elbow towards your left knee while straightening your right leg, then switch sides and repeat in a cycling motion.
Lie on your side with your legs straight and your forearm on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground and hold for a set amount of time before switching to the other side.
Standing Cable Woodchop
The standing cable woodchop is a functional exercise that targets your core and also involves rotation. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a cable handle with both hands, and rotate your body diagonally from high to low, while keeping your core engaged.
The bridge exercise strengthens your glutes and hamstrings while enhancing core stability. Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles by pushing your low back into the ground. Raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Squeeze your core and pull your belly button back toward your spine. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Lower the hips to return to the starting position.
The Superman exercise targets your lower back and glutes. Lie face down on the ground with your arms extended in front of you and your legs straight. Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground as high as you can, keeping your neck in a neutral position. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down.
The bird dog is a bodyweight exercise that strengthens the core—more specifically, the abdominal muscles, lower back, butt, and thighs. Point one arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg behind you, forming a straight line from your extended hand to your extended foot. Keep your hips squared to the ground. If your low back begins to sag, raise your leg only as high as you can while keeping the back straight. Hold for a few seconds, then return to your hands and knees. Keep your abs engaged throughout the entire exercise and work to minimize any extra motion in your hips during the weight shift. Switch to the other side. Aim to complete five reps on each side or 10 reps total. Add additional sets of 10 exercises for a maximum of three sets of 10. As a variation, you can do a set of 10 bird dogs on one side, then switch to the other side.
Remember to always use proper form when performing core exercises and consult with a fitness professional if you are unsure about your technique or have any health concerns. It’s also important to complement your core exercises with a well-rounded fitness routine that includes cardiovascular exercise and strength training for overall fitness and health.