Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
There is no surprise with the increase of obesity around the world and people trying to take steps to improve their overall health and fitness that core strength discussions continue to gain popularity.
A lot of us want six-pack abs, but achieving a ‘washboard’ stomach is no easy feat. As soon as we hear core training, most of us feel intimidated, especially if we’re new to working out.
With a range of muscles in your core, there are many exercises you can do to activate them. Thankfully, there are just a few moves you need to perform as a beginner to fire up your core, and, best of all, these movements are simple.
But, with consistency, they can be highly effective.
Before starting any fitness regime, it is essential to understand that consistency is key! We believe that quick, 30 minutes or fewer workouts are the best way of hitting that consistency, day in and day out.
With shorter workouts, you leave time for the many other activities that are in your day and you can truly commit to your regular routine since it isn’t a huge time consumer. This allows you to become physically fit and still have time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
If you’re starting a new exercise regime, such as a core strength workout, we highly encourage you to document your achievements.
This way, you can plan your workouts so you can target different muscle groups every day or so. With commitment, you will soon see gains and feel a whole lot better about yourself.
Want to learn more about an effective core strength workout for beginners? Read on as we discuss what the core is and how you can fire up those abdominal muscles to start your journey to a stronger core section.
What Is The Core?
Before we look at core strength exercises, it would be helpful to understand what the core actually is. Your core includes your rectus abdominis muscles. These are situated along the front of your abdomen in a vertical manner.
However, these comprise many other muscles, such as our obliques (side muscles on your torso) and transverse abdominis (muscles sitting below your obliques), as well.
Other muscles in this region include the pelvic floor, the glutes, and many more that help stabilize your hips and spine.
Strengthening your core strengthens your whole body.
The stronger your core is, the more power your body can share and the better you can perform different movements. Your core also provides stability for your movements and is vital for protecting your spine against possible injuries.
Therefore, the stronger your core, the more protected your spine is when performing certain movements in everyday life and at the gym.
Strengthening your core is not just about getting six-pack abs and looking good. The most important benefit is that core work can improve your daily life. Simple daily tasks such as carrying groceries, walking upstairs, and lifting your children can become easier.
How Can You Strengthen Your Core?
There are two principal methods for strengthening your core:
- Through movements such as dynamic exercises
- Through anti-movements
Dynamic exercises see your core engage as it moves. An example would be a crunch.
An anti-movement is when your core resists a certain motion, such as a plank.
Anti-movement exercises are ideal for beginners as you are less likely to suffer an injury when compared to dynamic exercises.
Keeping these two methods in mind, let’s take a look at a quick core strengthening workout for beginners.
Core Strength Workout For Beginners
The following core strength workout consists of four movements. As we mentioned above, anti-movements are best for beginners, as they come with a lower risk of injury.
Therefore, our workout has three anti-movement exercises and one dynamic movement (the low-risk Russian Twist).
Two moves are performed on your back. These are known as the Dead Bug and the Leg Lift. Many trainers and core experts will agree that this position is the safest when performing core workouts.
Being on your back also allows beginners to engage their core more easily, as the ground can help them gain balance and stability. All in all, if your lower back is pressed against the ground, your core will be engaged.
What Is Needed
All that is needed, but not required, to complete this workout is an exercise mat. There are tons of exercise mats available online or at stores, and if you are on a budget and willing to do a little research, there are cheaper options available, too.
The Exercises Involved
For this workout, you will be performing the following exercises:
- Dead bug
- Leg Lift
- Forearm side plank hip dip
- Russian twist
You will perform each exercise for 30 seconds before resting for 30 seconds. Then, you will move on to the next exercise.
Overall, you will complete the routine 3 times. And, although you will want to, try your best not to take extra breaks between the rounds. But, if you feel that your form will be impeded and you must have a longer break, do so as needed.
Core Strength Routine
- Begin by lying face up with your arms stretched out toward the ceiling. Your legs need to be in a tabletop position (bent at 90 degrees and hunched over your hips).
- Now, slowly and carefully extend your right leg until it is straight. At the same time, lower your left arm past your head. Maintain your legs and arms a few inches from the ground. Then, squeeze your buttocks, keeping your core engaged for the whole range of motion. Make sure your lower back is firmly pressed against the floor.
- Return your arm and leg back to the starting potion.
- Repeat this with your other leg and arm. So, extend your left leg and right arm.
- Lay down, face up. Your legs need to be extended with your arms flat on the floor at your sides. You may find your lower back needs more support. If so, place your hands beneath your buttocks on either side.
- Slowly and carefully lift your legs toward your head but without bending your knees. Keep them tightly together and stop when they reach a vertical point.
- Now, slowly lower your legs back toward the ground with your back flat against the ground. This is one rep. Continue this for 30 seconds. For a more advanced move, you can place an exercise ball or other object between your feet when you do the exercise.
Forearm Side Plank Hip Dip
- Begin by propping your body up on your right forearm (sideways plank). Your lower elbow needs to be beneath your shoulder and hand that is in front of you.
- Stretch your legs out and place your left foot on your right foot. Then, engage your abs and glutes to lift.
- Move your left arm over your head. Here, your hips, shoulders, and feet should be in a straight line.
- Next, slowly lower your hips to the floor, maintaining a tight core and a flat back. Now, lift your hips back up for one rep. Continue for 30 seconds and switch sides for the next round. For round three, do 15 seconds on each side.
- Sit down with your knees bent in front of you. Your feet should be relaxed with heels on the floor.
- Grasp your hands in front of your chest and lean back, lifting up your feet, until your abs engage.
- Gradually, twist your torso, right to left, while keeping a tight core. Try to breathe normally and perform for 30 seconds.
That’s it! Try out our core strength exercise for beginners and you will soon feel your core start to burn. Be consistent and your core will soon become stronger than ever before.