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Top 15 core exercises for beginners to build strength

by Shah Nawaz
Top 15 core exercises for beginners to build strength

Are you a beginner looking build core strength? Having a strong core is essential for overall fitness and functional movement. It improves posture, stability, and balance while supporting your spine. In this article, we will explore top 15 core exercises specifically designed for beginners. Whether you’re starting your fitness journey or looking diversify your current routine, these exercises will help you develop a solid foundation of core strength.

Importance of Core Strength

Your core muscles comprise muscles in your abdomen, lower back, hips, and pelvis. They provide stability and support for entire body. Developing a strong core has numerous benefits, such as:

  • Improved posture and alignment
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Reduced risk of back pain and injuries
  • Increased overall strength and power
  • Better balance and stability

Now that we understand significance of core strength, let’s dive into top 15 core exercises for beginners.

Getting Started: Warm-up Exercises

Before engaging in any exercise routine, it’s crucial warm up your body. Here are a few simple warm-up exercises prepare your core for workout ahead:

1. Cat-Cow Stretch: Begin on all fours, arch your back up like a cat, and then lower it down like a cow.

2. Standing Side Bend: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, reach one arm up and over opposite side, creating a gentle stretch along side of your body. Repeat on other side.

3. Standing Torso Twist: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, place your hands on your hips, and rotate your upper body from side side.

Warm-up Exercises

Plank Variations

Planks are excellent for targeting multiple core muscles simultaneously. They engage abdominal muscles, lower back, and glutes. Here are a few plank variations suitable for beginners:

1. High Plank: Start in a push-up position, keeping your body in a straight line from head toe.

2. Low Plank: Similar high plank, but with your forearms resting on ground instead of your hands.

3. Side Plank: Begin in high plank position, then rotate onto one side, balancing on one forearm and side of your foot.

Plank Variations

Crunches and Sit-ups

Crunches and sit-ups are classic exercises that primarily target abdominal muscles. They help strengthen rectus abdominis and obliques. Here’s how perform them correctly:

1. Crunches: Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your hands behind your head. Lift your upper body toward your knees while engaging your core. Lower back down with control.

2. Sit-ups: Similar crunches but with a larger range of motion. Start in a lying position, sit all way up, and then lower back down.

Crunches and Sit-ups

Hollow Hold

Hollow Hold is an effective core exercise that targets abs, lower back, and hip flexors. Perform a Hollow Hold, 

1.Start by lying on your back with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight out in front of you. 

2.Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine and pressing your lower back into floor. 

3.Next, lift your head, shoulders, and legs off ground, creating a “hollow” shape with your body. 

4.Hold this position while maintaining a strong core and avoiding any arching in your back. 

Aim hold Hollow Hold for a specific duration, gradually increasing time as you build strength and endurance.

Hollow Hold

Superman Pose

Superman pose is an excellent exercise for targeting lower back muscles. It also engages glutes and hamstrings. Here’s how do it:

1. Lie face down on floor, fully extend your arms in front of you, and keep your legs straight.

2. Simultaneously lift your chest, arms, and legs off ground, creating a “flying” position.

3. Hold this pose for a few seconds, then lower back down.

Superman Pose


Push-up is a classic core exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. Perform a push-up: 

1.start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes touching ground. 

2.Keep your body straight and engage your core muscles. 

3.Lower your body by bending your elbows, bringing your chest close ground, and then push back up starting position, fully extending your arms. 

4.Remember keep your body in a straight line throughout movement and avoid sagging or raising your hips. 

Aim maintain proper form and complete desired number of repetitions effectively engage your core muscles.


Bird Dogs

Bird dogs are beneficial for strengthening lower back, glutes, and core muscles. Here’s how perform bird dogs correctly:

1. Begin on all fours, ensuring your hands are directly beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips.

2. Extend your right arm forward while simultaneously extending your left leg backward.

3. Maintain a straight line from your fingertips your toes. Hold for a short while before switching sides.

Bird Dogs


Swiss-Ball Plank is a variation of traditional plank exercise that adds an element of instability and increases engagement of core muscles. Perform this exercise: 

1. Start by placing your forearms on a Swiss ball, with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. 

2.Extend your legs behind you and lift your body into a straight line, balancing on ball and toes. 

3.Engage your core muscles and hold position for a specific duration. 

4.Swiss-Ball Plank challenges your stability, requiring your core muscles work harder maintain balance. 

It is an excellent exercise for strengthening core and improving overall stability and posture.


Cat And Cow

Cat and Cow exercise is a popular core exercise that targets muscles of abdomen and lower back. It is often performed in yoga or Pilates classes and helps improve spinal flexibility and strength. Perform exercise: 

1.start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. 

2.Begin Cow pose by inhaling deeply, dropping your belly towards floor, lifting your head and chest, and arching your back. 

3.Then, transition into Cat pose by exhaling and rounding your spine, tucking your chin towards your chest, and pulling your belly button towards your spine. 

Repeat these two movements in a fluid motion, syncing your breath with movement for a complete core workout.

Cat And Cow


Metronome core exercise is a highly effective workout that targets core muscles and enhances stability and balance. Perform this exercise: 

1.Begin by assuming a plank position, with your forearms resting on ground and your body forming a straight line from head toe.

2.Engage your core muscles and maintain a neutral spine throughout exercise. 

3.Next, lift one foot off ground and bring your knee toward your chest. 

4. Return foot starting position and repeat movement with opposite leg. 

5. Continue alternating legs in a controlled and rhythmic manner, as if keeping pace with a metronome. 

This exercise challenges core muscles, improves coordination, and promotes overall core strength and stability.


Dead Bug Exercise

Dead bug exercise strengthens deep core muscles and promotes stability. Follow these steps perform dead bug exercise:

1. Lie on your back with your arms extended toward ceiling and your legs in a tabletop position.

2. Slowly lower one arm overhead while simultaneously extending opposite leg.

3. Return starting position and repeat on other side.

Dead Bug Exercise

Bridge Pose

Bridge pose targets glutes, hamstrings, and lower back while engaging core muscles. Here’s how perform bridge pose:

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on ground, hip-width apart.

2. Press your feet into ground and lift your hips off floor, creating a straight line from your knees your shoulders.

3. Hold pose for a few seconds, then lower back down.

Bridge Pose

Side Plank

Side planks are excellent for targeting obliques and building core stability. Follow these steps perform side planks:

1. Start in a high plank position.

2. Shift your weight onto one hand and rotate your body side, balancing on one forearm and side of your foot.

3. Keep your body in a straight line and hold position for a specified time, then switch other side.

Side Plank

Pilates Scissors

Pilates scissors help strengthen core muscles while also engaging hip flexors and hamstrings. Here’s how perform Pilates scissors:

1. Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides.

2. Lift one leg towards ceiling while keeping other leg hovering slightly above ground.

3. Lower lifted leg towards ground as you simultaneously lift other leg towards ceiling.

4. Continue alternating legs in a scissor-like motion while maintaining control and engaging your core.

Pilates Scissors


Incorporating core exercises into your fitness routine is crucial for building strength, stability, and overall body functionality. Top 15 core exercises for beginners mentioned in this article provide a comprehensive and well-rounded approachdeveloping core strength.

Remember, consistency and proper form are key achieving optimal results. Gradually increase difficulty and intensity of these exercises as you progress. A strong core will not only improve your athletic performance but also enhance your daily activities and overall well-being.


Can I do these core exercises every day?

It is generally recommended give your muscles at least 24 hours of rest between workouts. Start with two three sessions per week and gradually increase frequency as your core strength improves.

Do I need any equipment for these exercises?

Most of exercises mentioned in this article can be performed using just your body weight. However, incorporating stability balls, resistance bands, or dumbbells can add variety and intensity your core workouts.

How long should I hold each plank position?

Beginners can start by holding a plank for 20-30 seconds and gradually increase duration over time. Aim for maintaining proper form rather than focusing solely on length of time.

Are these suitable for people with lower back pain?

If you have lower back pain or any existing medical conditions, it’s essential consult with a healthcare professional or a certified trainer before starting any new exercise program.

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