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4 Best Core Exercises for Beginners

We know how it is. You’ve got all the motivation built up to start working out and transforming your body—maybe you’ve even made a resolution to get trim in the New Year. You’re envisioning feeling healthier than ever; getting a lean, toned core; and achieving your weight loss goals. But here’s the thing: you just don’t know where to start. That’s where we come in. In this article, we’re going to teach you four beginner core exercises that are sure to help you build strength, improve definition, and lose weight. Every movement you make comes from your core, so in order to slim your waistline or even get the six-pack abs of your dreams, you need to perform the right exercises in the right progressive order. That’s exactly what we’re going to show you here—you’re definitely going to want to keep reading. But before we get into the exercises, we want to share with you one of the keys that will not only help you to stay motivated in the short term but will also make fitness a simple and sustainable part of your lifestyle: at-home exercise. See, more and more of us are becoming interested in fitness, and many of us choose to sign up for a gym membership as our next step. But a staggering <a target="_blank" href="">**80 percent**</a> of people who register with a fitness center will drop out within eight weeks according to a report from Statista. For all of our good intentions, a lot of us are just too busy, too tired, and too unmotivated to actually make it to the gym. That’s why we’re going to teach you four beginner core exercises that require no equipment and that you can literally do in your living room in two minutes—yes, just two minutes! This workout is something you’ll be able to keep up easily without all the cost and effort it takes to get to the gym. Without further ado, let’s get into it! <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9 w-md-75 my-5 mx-auto"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> <h4><p style="color: rgba(187, 52, 47, 1)">Reverse Crunch</p></h4> The Reverse Crunch is a solid core movement that, unlike a regular crunch, is going to really activate your lower abdominal muscles. Here’s how to do the perfect Reverse Crunch: 1. Lie down on your back with your knees at a forty-five-degree angle and your feet on the floor. 2. Put your two index fingers and two thumbs together to create a diamond shape, then place your hands underneath your tailbone in this position. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_1_3_07.png"> </div> 3. Inhale and bring your knees up towards your chest as far as you comfortably can. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_2_3_19.png"> </div> 4. Exhale and return your knees to the starting position. 5. Repeat this for thirty seconds. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind while doing this exercise. First, your back should be totally flat on the ground, so you can’t fit anything between your torso and the floor. To do this, tuck your pelvis and press your lower back into the floor firmly. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_3_2_57.png"> </div> Second, make sure to stay nice and tall through the head, ensuring that your neck isn’t scrunched up or hanging back too far. Third, keep your legs together and your knees squeezed tight throughout the exercise. And, last, keep your focus on your breathing to help you maintain form and get the blood pumping to your muscles. Now that we’ve got Reverse Crunches down, let’s move on to the next exercise: the Kneeling Plank. <h4><p style="color: rgba(187, 52, 47, 1)">Kneeling Plank</p></h4> The Kneeling Plank is a beginner modification of the plank. It’s an incredible exercise for hitting all of your core muscles, your lower back, and even your arms, chest, and shoulders. Here’s how to do the Kneeling Plank with fantastic form: 1. Start on the ground on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, then drop your elbows down to the floor directly under your shoulders. 2. Squeeze your glutes and press them forward to bring your body into alignment from your knees to your hips to your shoulders and up. Continue squeezing the glutes throughout the exercise. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_4_5_03.png"> </div> 3. Hold this position, maintaining good form, for thirty seconds. Again, there are a few form cues you should try to remember when you’re performing the Kneeling Plank. For starters, make sure that you tuck your chin and stay nice and tall all the way through your head, just like you did during the Reverse Crunch. You also want to imagine, without actually doing it, that you’re dragging your elbows in towards your belly button. Put pressure on your arms as though you’re pulling them back, and you’ll create extra tension that is going to work your core muscles twice as hard, giving you, even more, benefit from the exercise. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_5_5_19.png"> </div> Last, but not least, don’t forget to breathe! <h4><p style="color: rgba(187, 52, 47, 1)">Did You Know?</p></h4> Before we get into the last two exercises, let’s clarify something. Why do we need to do four different exercises rather than just doing a bunch of sets of the same one? The key is in your core muscles. The core comprises both the front and back of your torso. In your abs alone, you’ve got four different muscle groups: the rectus abdominis (your ab muscles), the internal and external obliques, and the transverse abdominis, which runs along either side of the abs. Most of the core exercises that you do will work all of these muscle groups to some extent but will tend to only specifically target one or two groups. For instance, if you only did Reverse Crunches, you’d really only be working your lower abs and your transverse abdominis. Not only would this fail to hit all of the muscles in your core, but it might even cause imbalances which can lead to pain and injury. That’s why we recommend these four different exercises to maximize your core strength efficiently, powerfully, and, most important, safely. Now, let’s move on to the most challenging— yet rewarding— exercise in this workout: the Mountain Climber. <h4><p style="color: rgba(187, 52, 47, 1)">Mountain Climber</p></h4> The Mountain Climber is an incredible exercise because it’s going to give you all the core tension of the plank while also forcing you to move your legs quickly, adding a nice high-energy cardio element to the movement. Here’s how to do the Mountain Climber perfectly: 1. Start with your hands and knees on the ground in a tabletop position, then come up onto your toes to enter a full push-up position. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_6_6_49.png"> </div> 2. Bring your right knee up toward your right elbow as far as you can, then return your right leg to the starting position. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_7_6_55.png"> </div> 3. Repeat the movement on the opposite side, bringing your left knee to your left elbow. 4. Continue alternating until you’ve reached thirty seconds. When you’re just starting with this move, take it nice and slow to stay focused on your form. As you get more comfortable and build strength, you can start taking a little bit faster until it’s almost like you’re running in place. If you’re struggling to make it work from the start, try this variation: place your hands on a chair or on the edge of your couch instead of on the floor and alternate lifting up your legs in a nice, steady rhythm. This will hit lots of the same muscles in a much more accessible movement. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_8_7_30.jpg"> </div> While you’re doing the exercise, press the pads of your hands firmly into the ground, and grip the floor with your fingers to create extra tension in your lats, serratus, and core. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_9_7_41.png"> </div> Finally, make sure to turn the pits of your elbows forward to really fire your shoulder muscles. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_10_7_44.png"> </div> We’ve got three great moves under our belt, so let’s move on to the final exercise: the Kneeling Inchworm. <h4><p style="color: rgba(187, 52, 47, 1)">Kneeling Inchworm</p></h4> The Kneeling Inchworm is a fantastic move that’s going to let you really challenge yourself by going a little bit further each time, creating powerful tension in your core. Here’s how to do the perfect Kneeling Inchworm: 1. Start on your hands and knees, but this time, walk your hands back a little towards your knees and really squeeze your glutes so that your back is arched. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_11_8_33.png"> </div> 2. Keep your elbows locked and slowly walk your hands out until you’ve gone as far as you possibly can. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="" alt="4CoreExercises_12_8_56.png"> </div> 3. Press back up one arm at a time to return to the starting position. 4. Continue repeating this movement for thirty seconds. Once again, form is key here. Make sure that you keep your elbows locked and not bent while you’re walking yourself in and out. Really think about moving your arms from your shoulder blades rather than from your elbows to stay locked into position. You also want to maintain that nice tight squeeze in your glutes throughout the exercise in order to keep your body aligned and your core firing as hard as possible. <h4><p style="color: rgba(187, 52, 47, 1)">One More Amazing Benefit</p></h4> There’s one more thing we want to mention before putting this all together. The moves we’ve taught you here are what we call low-impact exercises. The major benefit of low-impact exercise is that it can help you to build muscle strength and endurance without taxing your joints. That means that these exercises are safe and accessible for lots of different people from beginning exercisers to folks who are aging. In fact, a 2009 study in a Scandinavian journal on Gynecology and Obstetrics concluded that low-impact exercise at around 70 percent of one’s maximum heart rate is a safe and healthy option for pregnant women. A systematic review in a 2009 issue of the Journal of Anatomy found that, unlike high-impact exercise, low-impact exercise is unlikely to accelerate the development of osteoarthritis, while many doctors and physical therapists actually recommend low-impact exercise for folks with joint issues like arthritis. And perhaps most importantly, low-impact exercises are commonly prescribed for people who are new to exercising in order to boost your heart health and lose weight without risking injury by doing exercises your body isn’t ready for. We’ve learned the moves, and we understand the benefits of working the full core through low-impact exercises at home, so let’s put it all together. <h4><p style="color: rgba(187, 52, 47, 1)">The Best Beginner Core Workout</p></h4> Now it’s time to make what we’ve learned into a simple, two-minute workout that you can do from the comfort of your living room. All you need to do is perform each of these exercises for thirty seconds. Start with the Reverse Crunch and work your way up through the Kneeling Inchworm, taking a short rest in between each exercise. These four low-impact moves are going to work your entire core, helping you to develop strength throughout your body, lose weight, and get ready to take on more challenging exercises down the road. They’re also great moves that literally anyone of any skill level can perform without worrying about overworking yourself or causing injuries. So, why not get started today? Take two minutes out of your day—whether it’s during your lunch break at work or during the commercial break while you’re watching TV—and get this workout done. Remember, the key is consistency, so keep this two-minute workout up, and over time we can guarantee you’re going to flatten your stomach, define your core, and work your way up to achieving your weight loss goals.

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