5 Core and Abdominal Exercises for Beginners

4 min read 18 Comments

5 Core and Abdominal Exercises for Beginners



So maybe you aren’t in good enough shape to get down and give me 50 crunches.

Well that’s okay; we all have to start from somewhere right?

Whether you’re getting back into fitness or you’re an exercise newbie, developing a solid core will increase your stability and balance and overall improve your quality of life.


Here are 5 Core and Abdominal Exercises that are Great for Beginners:


1) Bird-Dog Crunch

Targets: Abdominals, hamstrings, glutes and shoulders.

Stronger abs don’t develop overnight — you’ll have to first learn how to activate your core.

For this essential core exercise, start on the floor on all fours, hands need to be placed directly in line with your shoulders, as well as your hips directly in line with your knees. This is your starting position of the bird-dog crunch.

To begin the exercise, lift your right hand and extend your arm straight out in front of you, keeping it shoulder height, whilst at the same time lifting your left leg and extending it straight back.

Your whole body should be in a straight line from your right arm to your left leg. Then bring your left knee to touch your right elbow under your stomach, and return to the starting position. Following the same steps, repeat on the other side and aim for 10 repetitions on each side to begin with.

You may find it difficult to maintain balance, just keep the movement slow and controlled.

*As shown in the image.
Bird-dog Crunch


2) Plank
Targets:
Transversus abdominis, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus abductors, adductor muscles of the hip, external/internal obliques.

This one is a must on any list of classic core strengthening exercises for beginners because it works.

Begin on the floor, supporting your weight on your elbows, directly under your shoulders. Extend your legs straight out behind you, as you press into your heels. Tighten your core and keep your back straight. Focus on controlled breathing.  

Hold this position for 30 sec and then have a 20sec rest and repeat.

I advise doing the plank in front of the mirror so you can check your form. Try not to round your back; your body needs to be nice and straight.

*As shown in the image.
Plank


3) Heel touches
Targets:
Obliques, abdominals.

This is a great exercise to tone the sides of your waist and help with that V-line.

Lay down with your back on the ground and your knees bent pointed towards the ceiling. Place your arms extended on the side of your body.

Begin the exercise by using your abs to bring your right hand down to your right foot and then back to the starting position (flexion and extension). Then do the same thing with your left hand.

Alternate back and forth for the desired amount of repetitions, making sure you are contracting as you reach down for your foot. Aim for 10 reps on either side.

*As shown in the image.
Heel touch


4) Laying-down Bicycle Crunches
Targets:
Abdominals, obliques, intercostals and serratus anterior.

The bicycle crunch is a superb core workout, and brings all kinds of abdominal muscles into play, including the tricky to target obliques and intercostal muscles.

Begin by lying down on your back. Your knees should be bent with heels flat on the floor. Hands placed on either side of your head. Bring the right knee and left elbow towards one another, with a simple and gentle twist using your obliques. Return to the start position. Complete the movement by alternating your leg and elbow. Aim for 10 reps each side.

*As shown in the image.
Bicycle crunches

5) Spider Plank Crunch
Targets: Lower abdominals, glutes.

Are your abs burning yet? I do hope so.

To begin this exercise, start in a push-up position,  with your elbows on the ground directly in line with your shoulders. Your legs are extended backwards with your toes on the ground (like the plank position).

Your body should be in a straight line. You don’t want to round your back. (I recommend performing this exercise in front of a mirror so you can check proper form).  Lift your right knee and bring it towards the outside of your right elbow. Return to plank position. Repeat the movement with the other leg. Aim for 10 reps on each side.

*As shown in the image.
Spider plank


Well there you have it- The 5 core and abdominal exercises for beginners.


I recommend performing these specific exercises or any other core exercises for that matter after a workout session (weights or cardio). Remember to activate your muscles whilst performing each set and try not to take too much rest between sets.

If you’re up for it, you can try to perform these exercises daily. Once you feel confident enough or it becomes too easy, you can add extra reps and sets or add more difficult exercises to your routine.

Before you know it, your abdominals will begin to show. But remember, 80% is diet and 20% is training. No use working extremely hard for your abs to show if you are not eating correctly. – Refer to our nutrition blog for extra guidance.

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Cliff
Cliff

October 23, 2019

Great article. The plank (and variations) is definitely the best core strengthening exercise.
https://musclesmagician.com/core-strengthening-exercises/

Frank
Frank

July 31, 2018

I could use an ab or 2 😂 might try these out

Jim Barton
Jim Barton

April 20, 2018

Want to get abs,super hard, train hard

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