Core Exercises for Beginners

Core exercises are simple and effective. Read about how beginners can correctly exercise the core in the gym and at home.

The abs are a unique muscle group made up of different segments and layers. In addition to division into the top and bottom of the core, we will mention the oblique and internal abdominal muscles – each of these segments has its own movements and exercises.
In fact, there are several hundred different abdominal exercises – however, only a dozen of them can be considered basic, while the rest are most often a modified variation. Below you will find detailed descriptions and names of the main abdominal exercises.


core exercises

How to exercise the abs?

In order to properly exercise, you do not need complex exercises or advanced training programs at all. Beginners need to understand the anatomy of the muscles of the abdominal region, as well as be able to consciously strain the abs when performing exercises. In addition, workouts should be regular, by performing frequent training, you will also quickly lose the extra pounds without the need to load.
Anatomically speaking, the abdominal muscles are more than just the rectus abdominis that form the cubes. The abdominal musculature consists of several layers, located both parallel and perpendicular to the waist. That is why the best ab exercises involve all kinds of twists and lateral bends and movements with a turn.
Separately, it is necessary to mention the importance of static exercises. Since the key task of the abdominal and core muscles is to maintain posture and intra-abdominal pressure, work outs require not only dynamic training with movements (the aforementioned twists), but also motionless training that develops endurance. A well-known example is the plank.

plank fitness

Exercises for a flat stomach

Abdominal exercises are a way to tone the abdominal muscles, improve blood circulation in tissues, and a method of developing muscle control. At the same time, none of the abdominal exercises, including the most effective ones, are capable of burning fat and making the stomach smaller – rather, the opposite. Often, exercising the core leads to an increase in muscle volume and an increase in waist circumference.
If you want to lose weight, the first thing you need to do is regular cardio workouts and a diet that controls the glycemic index of carbohydrates. It is the excess of fast carbohydrates in the diet that leads to the accumulation of fat mass in the abdominal area. It is also important that the low level of subcutaneous fat will increase the efficiency of the exercise. You will literally be able to see the work of the muscles.

How to burn belly fat:

  • Do cardio regularly
  • Cut out fast carbs
  • Strengthen your abs with hypertrophy exercises
  • Build lean body mass

The best core exercises

The key to choosing the best ab exercises is variation. The abdominal muscles adapt extremely quickly to monotonous workouts, so it is recommended to regularly replace exercises with new ones or switch to using additional weights. At the same time, it is best to work out the core in the beginning of the exercise routine, when you have the most strength.

Basic exercise for the rectus abdominus muscles. Raising the body upward is carried out on exhalation and due to the conscious tension of the core.


Reverse crunches
Exercise for the lower abdomen. Lying on your back, tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your legs straight up; then, as you exhale, pull your legs bent at the knees to your chest.
Side crunches
Exercise for the oblique abdominal muscles. Twisting is also performed at the exit and with the conscious involvement of the abdominal muscles in the work (keep your hand on your belly to feel the muscle contractions).

Roller crunches
A sophisticated variation of regular curls. Most effective for the full involvement of the muscles of the rectus abdominis that are involved in the exercise.


Elbow plank
A key static abs exercise. Hold the plank position for 30-60 seconds, maintaining a normal breathing rhythm. The abdominal muscles are tense.
Dynamic twist plank
Complicated plank variation. First, stretch your hand forward, then, as you exhale, pull it to your belt, while simultaneously pulling your leg bent at the knee towards you.
Turning the leg in the plank
Exercise for the side core. The starting position is a plank on outstretched arms. Tighten your abdominal muscles, pull your bent leg to your waist, then slowly turn to the side.

Hanging leg raises
Advanced abdominal exercise. The lighter variation is with legs bent at the knees; the complicated variation is with straight legs.

fitness quotes
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
Jenna Wolfe

How often should you exercise?

In theory, you can train your abs even on a daily basis. The main thing is to alternate the areas of the abdominal muscles. For example, do your obliques one day and your lower abs the next. Plus, as we noted, do a hypertrophy workout once a week. It involves performing only 5-10 heavy reps per exercise – this usually requires the use of weights.
After training the core for hypertrophy of the abdominal muscles, it takes at least 48 hours to fully recover. The best schedule would be to combine your leg and abs workout on Friday, and a full weekend of rest.

Choosing effective ab exercises is the foundation of your home workout. Ultimately, to achieve the desired definition, just a mat is enough. Training the core does not require simulators or additional weights.
However, which one of the many exercises is the best for working out the abs? Peter Francis, professor at San Diego State University, has set himself the task of scientifically answering this question and identifying the most effective abdominal exercise.

Abs workout
If you really want to build your abs quickly, then it is best to train it 3-4 times a week. Firstly, every workout in the gym should start with exercises for the core  – 1-2 static and 1-2 dynamic exercises are enough, serving as a warm-up. Secondly, you should devote one of the workouts of the week to targeting your core muscles.
In addition, during the implementation of the main training program, you should constantly feel the core at work. It should be tense in both squats and dumbbell bench presses. Combine and alternate exercises – after pull-ups, do 1-2 sets of leg raises, after bench press – a plank. Among other things, ab workouts can be easily done at home.

Best Abs Exercises - Research

Crunching is traditionally considered to be the best ab exercise. If done correctly, all sections of the abdominal muscles are included in the work, and the main load falls on the rectus abdominis muscle, which is responsible for the formation of cubes. In particular, the upper core works the most – it is due to its force that the body is lifted up.
In the aforementioned scientific study, the most effective abdominal crunch exercises also served as the reference point. If the exercise score was defined as 200 units, then this exercise used the abdominal muscles twice as successfully as the crunches (100 units). If the result was 50 units, then the exercise is twice as bad.
The mechanics of the study consisted in the fact that when performing certain exercises with the help of electromyography equipment, the load in the upper, lower and lateral parts of the abdominal muscles was measured. In total, 13 top abdominal exercises were reviewed. The load in the muscles of the thighs was also assessed to determine if the exercise was performed using the strength of the legs.

Types of exercises for the core:

  • classic twists for the rectus abdominis muscle
  • twisting with a turn for the oblique muscles of the core
  • raising legs for the lower part of the core
ab exercises

How to train your abs correctly?

Recall that the best abdominal training strategy is to develop neuromuscular connections. You should feel that the abdominal muscles are fully involved in the work during the exercise, and the load is not transferred to the muscles of the legs or the lower back. You should also be able to keep your abs in conscious tension both during the workout itself and throughout the day. Remember that the best exercise will be one that you can do correctly and with a full abdominal feel – ultimately, this will determine effectiveness.

The best strategy for building abdominal muscles is to incorporate various abdominal exercises into the main training program. Dynamic plank options are great for both stretching your body and developing your core muscles. At the same time, in one of the workouts of the week, you should work out the core in the power mode of hypertrophy – with additional weight and a low number of repetitions.

Can I drink while exercising?

core exercises


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