The fitness world has been buzzing with the term ‘core strength’ in recent times. It was conventionally believed that crunches and sit-ups are the best exercises if you want a tighter stomach and a fit body. However, recent research has proven that one should exercise in a way that engages their core and enhances the strength of the stabilizer muscles. These will build upon a stronger foundation and increase your balance and stability. Core exercises add definition to your body and help with your balance and posture as well. They not only strengthen your abdomen muscles abdomen, but those of the glutes, back, and legs, too. The four best core exercises for beginners are:
It is one of the best and basic exercise in core. The key here is to balance and stabilize your body using core muscles, to give your core muscles a great workout. Form is very important in any exercise and same is with Planks, so if you are a beginner start with very basic until you hold it for 30 seconds and then take it up. Your wrists should be directly beneath your shoulders. Then, squeeze your glutes and draw your belly button into the spine and hold your body in this position for your convienent time.
This exercise is easy to perform and targets the lower back, an area which is often ignored and causes a great deal of pain. Superman also helps you stretch and relax your entire body after a tiring workout. To perform this exercise:
- Begin with lying on your stomach and arms extended overhead and legs straight.
- Then, start raising your arms and legs as high as you can and stay in this position for 5-10 seconds while keeping your core tight
- Get back to your initial position and repeat 15/20 times.
3. Bird Dog
This popular exercise helps one with the strength of their core muscles and stability of the spine. It also benefits the control of the posture, helps in spine alignment, reducing lower back pain and strengthening the shoulder muscles. To perform a bird dogs exercise:
- Start with being on your fours with your back flat and look in front
- Raise your right arm and left leg and stay in this position for 5/10 seconds while keeping your core tight.
- Return to your initial position and repeat on the opposite side.
- Repeat this 20 times.
4. Modified Bicycle Crunch
The bicycle crunch is one of the highly recommended core exercises for beginners and will bring all your abdominal muscles in action; as well as obliques, glutes, and thighs. To perform this:
- Start by sitting with your knees bent and hands by the sides of your head.
- Then, slowly bring your right knee and left elbow towards each other with a twist.
- Go back to your initial position and finish the movement on the other side.
- Continue this for 1 minute followed by a break for 15 seconds. Repeat this five times.
5. Seated Leg Lifts
It looks like an easy exercise, but one starts feeling the burn after a few minutes of performing this exercise. To perform a seated leg lift:
- Start by sitting on the floor with your legs straightened out in front.
- Keep your core engaged while leaning back such that you can place your hands on the sides of your glutes.
- While taking a deep breath, raise one leg approximately six inches from the ground.
- Stay in this position for five seconds and then repeat it with the other leg.
- Alternate between the two legs for a minute, and then take a 20-second break. Perform 5 repetitions of this.
Core exercises train the muscles in the abdomen, pelvis, lower back and hips leading to improved balance and stability. Besides this, core exercises also help keep the injuries at bay. It’s good to work on one’s core at least thrice a week. So, if you haven’t been working on your core, make sure you add one or more of the above mentioned core exercises for beginners to your daily regimen. The best part is that you can do these core exercises without equipment at your home.