Easy Core Exercises You Can Do At Home For Beginners

Easy Core Exercises You Can Do At Home For Beginners

Easy Core Exercises

Core strength is extremely important. Ensuring the strength and flexibility of your core will help you in the gym, playing sports or just going about your daily business. Also, a strong core will help you maintain a good posture and avoid problems such as lower back pain. For these reasons- and much more, core exercises are practically vital to staying healthy.
Photographer: Mor Shani | Source: Unsplash

Ensuring the strength and flexibility of your core will help you in the gym, playing sports or just going about your daily business. Also, a strong core will help you maintain a good posture and avoid problems such as lower back pain. Basically, core exercises are a must for any fitness routine.

Many people forget and neglect the importance of core strength- which can lead to unnecessary injury, pain and missing out on wonderful aspects of life.

Though, why should you strengthen your core muscles?

The Purpose Of Core Strength

Core exercises are an important part of a comprehensive fitness programme. Nevertheless, core exercises are somehow often neglected aside from occasional situps and pushups. Still, getting your core muscles — the muscles around your pelvis and trunk — into better shape is worthwhile.

Core exercises train your pelvic muscles, lower back , hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the field of play or in day-to-day activities. Most of the sports and other physical activities actually depend on stable core muscles.

Any exercise involving your abdominal and back muscles being used in a coordinated fashion counts as a core exercise. For example, using free weights to maintain a stable trunk can train and strengthen multiple of your muscles including your core muscles- as such, core exercises don’t require specialized equipment or a gym membership.

Strong core muscles make many activities easier to do, such as swinging a golf club, getting a glass from the top shelf and bending down to tie your shoes. For athletes, strong core muscles are important. For example, as runners, weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and plenty of injuries.

Weak core muscles can leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injury. Strengthening the core muscles can help alleviate back pain as well.

Now that the benefits have been outlined, here are some core exercises:

Easy Core Exercises At Home


The plank is one of the simplest core exercises you can do. It is simple in its appearance and the amount of steps involved in performing it. But being simple doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an easy feat.

It’s easy to get into the plank position. It can even be easy to hold a plank for a few seconds. However, the plank is an exercise position that can be held indefinitely- which means its difficulty can range from easy, short-term planks to appalling endurance tests.

The plank is one of the core exercises that involves minimal motion but maximum effort. It requires you to support your body on your forearms and toes while holding your body from your shoulders to your ankles in a straight line. By resting on your knees, you can make it easier, or harder by extending your arms so you’re supported by your hands.

It’s benefits include:

-The plank works out a great deal of muscles in your body, making them appealing for all kinds of workouts – strength, endurance, you name them. Planks can even be a boon for those who wish to do cardio training.

-Planks can be done by people of virtually any age, as long as they are still physically fit. Children can start doing planks and if they keep doing so, they will be able to continue the exercise into old age.

-The plank is a bodyweight exercise. Bodyweight exercises are workouts you can do with nothing but your own body. For a number of reasons, this makes them versatile and somewhat appealing.

-You can do bodyweight exercises pretty much anywhere; the most equipment you’ll ever need is a wall to lean on or a chair/bench for bending.

Dead bug

If you’ve ever seen a beetle struggling desperately to pick itself up after ending up on its back, you’ll get some idea of the challenge this workout poses. Those insects that have a strong core survive. However, those that have skipped one too many core exercises are crow food.

The dead bug is a great way to reinforce your abs and core without putting strain on your lower back.

In order to do the dead bug, you must:

-Lie flat on your back with your arms held out in front of you pointing to the ceiling. Then bring your legs up so your knees are bent at 90-degree angles. This is your starting position, and it’s vital to get your back as flat against the floor as possible. You shouldn’t be able to get a hand in between your back and the floor, and you need to maintain this position.

-Slowly lower your right arm and left leg at the same time, exhaling as you go. Keep going until your arm and leg are just above the floor, being careful not to raise your back off the ground. Then slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite limbs.

-The dead bug might seem quite easy for the first couple of reps, but if you keep your core engaged, move slowly and avoid raising your back off the ground, you’ll be surprised how hard it is. Aim for three sets of five to 10 reps on each side, or just keep going until the shaking in your abs gets too much.

Side Plank

Few movements are as good for your mid-section as the side plank, yet it is often overlooked in favor of the standard face-down, regular plank variety. There is nothing wrong with that. However, doing this, you ignore the often weak muscle called the quadratus lumborum. It is a part of the posterior abdominal wall that plays a prominent role in averting back pain.

Researchers in Finland found that people with poor muscle endurance in their lower backs are three to four times more likely than those with fair or good endurance to develop ongoing lower back problems. What does good endurance mean, you may ask? Being able to hold for a minute a faultless side board on either side. For at least three sets.

There are several other benefits for going unilateral with your core exercises. Working either side of your body separately will help identify any weaknesses in your joints and muscle. This will help you address them before they become chronic issues. If you find you can hold a side plank easy on one side and barely at all on the other then there’s an imbalance you need to work on.

Follow the instructions below to master the move:

-Start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
-Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.

-Hold the position without letting your hips drop for the allotted time for each set. Repeat on the other side.

Leg Raise

If you’re interested in building a rock-solid core or sculpting a six-pack, you’re likely to have heard by now that sit-ups and crunches aren’t the best way to do that. There are a few reasons for that. One of the biggest is that they do little to work on your lower abs. Even if you do sit-ups every day you ‘re more likely to end up with a four-pack than the full six.

Fortunately, there are plenty of effective lower abs exercises out there that you can use to complete your core routine, and one of the best of them is the “leg raise”. It’s a simple but extremely effective exercise. On the first rep, it often feels easy. Then, by rep ten, it feels completely impossible.

In addition to working your lower abs, the leg raise also enhances the strength and flexibility of your hips and lower back. Of course, this is a considerable benefit for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting at a desk.

-Here are the steps to do a leg raise:
-Begin by lying on the floor, or on a mat. Lay flat with your arms at your sides and legs stretched out next to each other, then raise those legs. Keep your legs as straight as possible, and lift them as close as possible to the ceiling. Make sure to point your toes.
-Then lower them back down, being careful to keep your movements measured. The return journey should be at the same pace at which you raised your legs. Lower them until they’re hovering just above the ground, and then raise them again.

-Shoot for three sets of 10 reps, or simply do as many raises as you can – keeping the pace steady – in a set time as part of a circuit.

Flutter Kicks

Like all the best abs exercises, when you start doing them first, flutter kicks don’t seem very tough at all. Then, after about 20 seconds, as the tension builds up in your abs, you begin to realize just how much pain you’ll have to go through. 30 seconds in, you won’t believe how slowly those last ten seconds passed.

Flutter kicks are a vital abs exercise for anyone looking to sculpt a six-pack or reinforce their core. For swimmers it’s a particularly good exercise. This is because it works the muscles necessary to propel your legs through the water. Sometimes flutter kicks also go by the name scissor kicks.

The steps to do flutter kicks are as follows:

-Lie on your back with your legs extended. Lift your head, neck and shoulders slightly off the ground and engage your core muscles. Lift your feet 15cm off the ground, keeping your legs extended. Move one foot up and the other down, alternating at pace while keeping your torso still – maintaining tension in the rest of your body is crucial to gaining the core benefits of the move.

-Aim to flutter for 30-60 seconds.

You could also try one of the flutter kick variations, being the Reverse Flutter Kick:

-Flip yourself over for an exercise that targets the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and obliques. Lie on a weight bench with your hips on the edge so your legs are free to move up and down. Hold the front of the bench for balance. Start with your legs level with the rest of your body, squeeze your glutes, then start to slowly move them up and down under control.

Hollow Body Hold

Another one of the excellent isometric core exercises (like the plank) is the hollow body hold. It works both your deep-lying core muscles and abs, as well as an array of other muscles around the body. This includes glutes, quads and lats. It’s a move that’s popular with gymnasts because of how it helps you build the strength to control your body position. If you’re ever planning to do a flawless handstand in the near future, the hollow body hold will help you achieve that.

All those benefits come at a cost, which is that holding the hollow body position is really tough. Even if you’re a plank master and can hold that position for two or three minutes, you may struggle with the hollow body hold for longer than one minute to maintain perfect form. For your workout, it’s a great finisher move. You want to go to the shower with absolute certainty that you’ve thrown everything at your core muscles, after all.

To do the hollow body hold, you must:

-Lie on your back with your legs together and your arms extended behind your head. Raise your arms, shoulders and legs off the ground at the same time, until they’re hovering about 15cm above the floor.

-Your lower back should be pressed into the floor at all times during the exercise. (If you find you’re struggling to do that even before you begin the hold proper, it’s worth doing more work on your core in preparation for attempting the hollow body hold.)