Are you looking to strengthen your core but not sure where to start? Here are five essential core exercises for beginners – whether you are new to exercise or are making a return to fitness!
A while back, I posted a little workout I called “bodyweight booty killer,” and you guys have been eating that up!
So I decided that I needed to start sharing more workouts, starting with these core exercises for beginners.
(You can combine these for a workout or simply do them individually – you will benefit no matter what.)
While I would love to post workouts of myself doing the workouts I share, I don’t have a good camera or spot in my house to do this!
Plus, with a baby and a 4 year old walking around, there’s just typically not a “good” time to do this. LOL.
Why Strengthen Your Abdominal Muscles?
Your core muscles are at the heart of everything you do. I personally consider the strengthening of the abdominal muscles similar to doing your own occupational therapy.
Because every movement you perform requires the use of some (if not several) of your abdominal muscles.
Think about how you’re using your back, side muscles (obliques), and abs every time you move. Think about them next time you…
Sit down in your car.
Swing open a heavy door.
Swoop down to pick up a toddler.
Scrub your bathtub.
Get out of bed.
You may not feel it every time, but you are using those muscles in MOST movements.
And, if you are planning on getting serious about exercise, it’s important for injury prevention!
How Often Should You Perform These Core Exercises For Beginners?
If you are a true beginner, you will benefit from these core exercises for beginners no matter what.
But most people could benefit from doing some core-strengthening exercises 3-5 per week, if not daily. (In my 21-Day Postpartum Challenge, we do core work 4+ days weekly.)
You can pick and choose which core exercises for beginners you’d like to start with.
You can do just one or two at a time if you’re a true beginner – or complete them all if you’re looking to get stronger faster.
If you’d like to turn these core exercises into a workout similar to the workouts in my core workout program, here’s what to do:
- Perform each dynamic exercise for ten reps per side. These are the exercises in which you are moving, so this doesn’t include the plank, since it’s holding one pose.
- Perform the plank for 20-60 seconds.
- Repeat steps 2 & 3 entirely.
So in short, you’re completing all exercises 10 times, per side (minus the plank).
Then you’re finishing with a plank.
When you’re done, you’re doing the whole set again. If you really want to go for it, do a third round!
This is how I structure my Restore The Core workouts. These core exercises are short, however, and shouldn’t take you more than 10-15 minutes. (Even if you do three sets.)
So my suggestion is to tack this on to a cardio workout or high-intensity interval training if you’re also aiming for weight loss.
Essential Core Exercises For Beginners
Begin on your hands and knees. Slowly arch your back, holding for 2-5 seconds at the top. Slowly release, dropping your belly button to the floor while looking up to the ceiling.
Hold 2-5 seconds for a good core stretch.
Your goal is to go slowly, trying to feel each vertebrae as you move. Then, when you drop your belly button to the floor, you should feel a good stretch.
A full plank is essentially holding push-up position. You can also perform this on your elbows. During a plank, your body should form one line.
You should not be sagging in the middle, and you should keep your booty from sticking in the air.
To modify, rest your knees on the floor. Hold a plank for 20-60 seconds.
3. Tabletop Bridge
Begin in a reclined sitting position with your knees pointing to the ceiling, and your palms planted behind you.
Slowly press your hips up to the ceiling, squeezing your glutes (butt) at the top. Hold for one second before lowering your hips to the floor to complete one rep.
4. Flutter Kicks
Begin in a lying position with your hands on the floor at your sides. Lift your right leg. Next, lower your right leg towards the floor while lifting your left leg.
Alternate continuously without letting your feet touch the ground.
To modify, perform in a reclined sitting position or keep your legs higher in the air (rather than lowering all the way to the ground).
5. Quadruped Arm/Leg Raise
While I couldn’t find the perfect image for this exercise, I found the ideal starting position. From your hands and knees, alternating raising your right arm and left leg simultaneously.
Slowly lower back into the starting position and alternate. The challenge is to stabilize with your core muscles and the opposing arm and leg.
You can also check out this great instructional video for a visual explanation of this movement.