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Developing your core strength is a great way to improve your overall health and lower your risk of injury when doing tasks in everyday life.
Keep reading to discover our top 6 easy at home core workouts, all of which can be progressed to increase the challenge on your abdominal muscles.
These highly recommended workouts will target all the muscle groups that make up your midsection, including your obliques, rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis.
Strengthening your core is essential for maintaining balance, and good posture which helps to minimize lower back pain and an overall strong body.
A solid core provides a sturdy foundation, enhancing your everyday movements, and can help improve productivity in the gym.
As most activities recruit your core muscles for stability, the stronger these muscles become, the more effective your movements will be.
The good news is that our chosen core exercises can be done in your home with no equipment necessary.
6 Easy At Home Core Workouts For Beginners
Grab your exercise mat and make some space for our easy beginner core workout.
The mountain climber is a full body dynamic exercise that will increase your heart rate and improve core stability.
The plank position you need to adopt when doing this exercise engages the front and side of your abs as well as recruiting your lower back muscles.
As you lift each knee towards your chest you’re going to engage your rectus abdominis, and the twisting motion as you bring your knees diagonally across your body specifically works your external obliques.
How To Do Mountain Climbers:
- Start by getting yourself into a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and resting on the balls of your feet.
- Engage your core by squeezing your abs.
- Lift your right knee toward your chest, aiming to bring it as close to your hands as possible then quickly return it to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement with your left leg, bringing the knee toward your chest.
- Continue to alternate legs in a fluid, rhythmic motion while keeping your upper body in a fixed position.
How To Progress The Mountain Climber Exercise
You can progress this exercise by simply moving at a faster pace or by wearing ankle weights to add some resistance.
Going faster will burn calories helping with weight loss and improving your cardiovascular strength.
There are many plank variations and the side plank is a great exercise for developing strong core muscles, especially working your obliques which run down the sides of your abdomen.
It requires strong core stability to be able to hold your body in a straight line.
Achieving and maintaining a stable side plank position also involves balance, requiring coordination and strength from the core muscles.
As well are working your obliques, the side plank will also recruit other muscles including the hip abductors and adductors.
How To Do the Side Plank:
- Start by lying on your left side with your left elbow directly under your shoulder.
- Place your right arm across your chest.
- Stack your legs on top of one another and keep them extended with your knees locked out.
- Raise your hips off the floor making a straight line from head to heels.
- Keep your core engaged and focus on proper breathing.
- Hold this position anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds.
How To Progress The Side Plank
You can progress this exercise by adding in a rotation.
Simply perform the steps above to get into the right start position.
Then rotate your hips down towards the floor without moving your chest or knee.
Move back to the start and then repeat the hip rotation but this time turning towards the ceiling.
The superman is a very underrated exercise but when done with proper form it’s one of the best ways to target your entire core including your abs and erector spinae.
As well as working your core, you’ll also need to engage your glutes to raise your legs and lower traps to lift your arms.
How To Do The Superman Exercise:
- Lie on the floor in a prone position with your legs and arms extended.
- Inhale and squeeze your belly button inwards, raising both arms and legs off the ground.
- Keep your neck in a neutral position by looking down at the floor to avoid straining your neck.
- Hold the lifted position for a moment at the top of the movement.
- Squeeze your glutes and lower back muscles to maximize the engagement of those muscles.
- Slowly lower your chest and legs back to the starting position with control and then repeat.
How To Progress The Superman Exercise
To make this one more challenging you could try holding some lightweight dumbbells in your hands which will add some resistance and further engage the muscles.
Or you could perform small, controlled pulses at the top of the movement.
Do this by lifting and lowering your chest and legs in short, quick movements without fully returning to the starting position.
This adds an extra dynamic element to the exercise.
The bicycle crunch targets a group of muscles including the deep-set core muscle, the transverse abdominis, and the more superficial muscle, the rectus abdominis also known as your six-pack abs.
As well as working your core it’s also a great way of strengthening your hip flexors and improving their mobility.
How To Do The Bicycle Crunch:
- Lie down on the floor and raise both knees so your lower legs are parallel to the ground.
- Pull your abs in so that your lower back presses into the floor.
- With your head and shoulders off the ground, place both hands behind your head and open up your elbows.
- From here bring your left knee towards you while extending and straightening out your right leg.
- At the same time, rotate your upper arm so that your right elbow touches your left knee.
- Return to the start and repeat this movement while moving your opposite arm and leg.
How To Progress The Bicycle Crunch
You can progress the Superman exercise by slowing down the repetitions which increases time under tension and intensifies engagement of your abs.
You could also try increasing the range of motion by bringing your elbows closer to the opposite knee during the twisting motion.
This emphasizes the obliques and intensifies the exercise.
Hollow Body Hold
The hollow body hold is a static movement meaning that you have to maintain the fixed position with no joint activation.
It’s a very low-impact way of improving your core stability while working the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and hip flexors.
When done often it will translate to movements like push-ups, pull-ups, and handstands.
How To Do The Hollow Body Hold:
- Lie down on your back with arms down by your sides and legs extended.
- Push your lower back into the floor and keep it there.
- From here, lift your legs, arms, and head away from the floor. Keep your chin tucked.
- Try and stretch your arms away from your torso to help depress your shoulder blades
- Hold this position while keeping your lower back pressed into the ground for between 30 to 60 seconds.
How To Progress The Hollow Body Hold
You can progress this movement by taking your arms straight back behind your head so that both your arms and legs are extended, and your body forms a very slight U shape.
It’s important to keep your back pushed into the floor to maintain proper form and keep tension on your core muscles.
The reverse crunch is a great exercise for specifically working your lower abs.
As the name suggests, it involves lifting your lower body as opposed to your upper body.
It can be a great option if you have any back issues as it minimizes stress in this area.
How To Do The Reverse Crunch:
- Lie down on the ground and bring your legs up so that your upper legs are parallel to the floor and knees bent to 90-degrees.
- Keep your arms extended and down by your sides.
- With your knees at a 90-degree angle, engage your lower abs to lift your hips away from the ground.
- Bring your knees towards your head going as far as you find comfortable.
- Make sure you don’t use the momentum of your legs and perform the exercise slowly and with control.
How To Progress The Reverse Crunch
To progress a reverse crunch, you can bring your upper body into the movement a little more.
Do this by placing your hands behind your head.
Don’t interlock your fingers as this may cause you to pull at your head and strain your neck.
From here, raise your upper body away from the ground as you lift your knees and pelvis increasing engagement of your upper abs.
Integrating simple and effective core workouts into your at-home routine doesn’t require fancy equipment or excessive time commitments.
With our recommended exercises, you can build a strong core conveniently, contributing to overall fitness and well-being.
Stay consistent, focus on proper form, and enjoy the benefits of a stronger, more resilient core from the comfort of your home.