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Core Training For Beginners – The Best 5 Exercises

Core Training For Beginners – The Best 5 Exercises
Maybe you aren’t in shape to get down and perform 50 crunches, but you’re not ignoring your core either. Every time you carry groceries, laundry, or even your everyday movements, you’re relying on your core. This is a foundation of strength!

By strengthening your core it will help keep your chest up and your spine strong, this can correlate to some back pain relief as well if you suffer from any back problems.

You don’t need to use fancy machines to target inner stomach muscles. Below are six easy-to-follow core exercises for beginners, which only require bodyweight.

1. Bird-Dog Crunch

Bird-Dog Crunch



For this essential core exercise:

⚫ Start on the floor on all fours.
⚫ Hands placed directly underneath your shoulders.
⚫ Hips in line with your knees.
⚫ Lift your right hand and extend your arm straight out in front of you, keeping it shoulder height, while simultaneously lifting your left leg and extending it straight back.
⚫ Your whole body should be in a straight line from right fingertips to left toes.
⚫ Bring your left leg to touch your right elbow under your stomach.
⚫ Extend your leg and arm out again.
⚫ Return to starting position.
⚫ Repeat on the other side.
⚫ Do five reps on each side.

If you’re unable to maintain form, simplify this movement by forgoing the crunch:

⚫ Extend your arm and opposite leg out.
⚫ Hold for three seconds.
⚫ Switch sides.

2. Standing Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle Crunches


⚫ Obliques.
⚫ Rotational muscles.

For this core exercise:

⚫ Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands placed behind your head.
⚫ Keep a tight core, straight back and relaxed shoulders.
⚫ Lift your right leg and simultaneously raise your right knee and lower your left elbow towards each other.
⚫ Return to the starting position.
⚫ Repeat on the opposite side.
⚫ Do five reps on each side.

If rotating your upper body downwards is too difficult:

⚫ Lift your knee to your chest while keeping your upper body still.
⚫ Alternate legs.

3. Seated Leg Lifts

Seated Leg Lifts


⚫ Abs.
⚫ Hamstrings.

For this exercise:

⚫ Sit on the floor, legs extended straight out in front of you.
⚫ Keeping your core engaged, lean back slightly, place your hands on either side of your glutes.
⚫ Take a deep breath and lift one leg six inches off the ground.
⚫ Hold for five seconds and then put it down.
⚫ Repeat with the other leg.
⚫ Continue alternating for one-minute straight.
⚫ Take a 20 second break.
⚫ Repeat for five rounds.

To make this exercise easier:

Lift one leg at a time without stopping to hold each one extended for five seconds.

Need more of a challenge?

After lifting a heel, bring your knee into your chest,
Extend your heel back out and lower down.
Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Sit-Ups

Sit-Ups gif


⚫ Abs.
⚫ Hip flexors depending on range of motion.

To start:

⚫ Sit on the floor with your knees bent, heels touching the floor.
⚫ Hands on either side of your head.
⚫ Shoulders dropped and relaxed to avoid tension in the neck.
⚫ Keeping your feet on the ground, lay back until your back is flat on the floor.
⚫ Rise back up.
⚫ Continue for one-minute straight.
⚫ Take a 20 second break.
⚫ Repeat for five rounds.

Having trouble keeping your core and back engaged:

 ⚫ Slowly lower yourself as far as you can, and work up to lowering completely down to the floor.
⚫ There’s no need to go all the way back until you can maintain perfect form.

5. Modified Bicycle Crunch

Modified Bicycle Crunch gif


⚫ Obliques.
⚫ Rotational muscles.

For this core exercise:

⚫ Start in the same neutral position as the sit-up.
⚫ Sitting with knees bent, heels flat on the floor, hands on either side of your head.
⚫ Bring the right knee and left elbow towards one another, with a simple and gentle twist.
⚫ Return to the start position.
⚫ Complete the movement with the left knee and right elbow.
⚫ Continue for one-minute straight.
⚫ Then take a 20 second break.
⚫ Repeat for five rounds.

This is a major progression from the sit-up, so if this movement is tough for you, keep practising sit-ups.