The core exercises in this article could be the answer to most of your life’s challenges.
That’s a bold statement so let me explain.
We use the core in almost every movement. Every time you lift the shopping bag off the floor, you use your core muscles. Every time you sit down or stand up, you engage your core muscles. Even a golfer has to engage his core muscles to swing the club.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Any movement that involves pulling, pushing, bending, twisting, and so on, uses your core muscles.
Chances are you know that the core is more than just your abs.
What Is the Core?
The core is a group of muscles composed of every part of your body except your legs, arms, and neck. In short, all the muscles from your trapezius down to the pelvic floor muscles make up your core.
The core has as many as 35 muscles. The major muscles include the transverse abdominis, pelvic floor muscles, internal and external obliques, multifidus, diaphragm, erector spinae, and rectus abdominis.
The trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and gluteus maximus also determine your core strength.
Simply doing core exercises for abs won’t strengthen your entire core. You must combine different core exercises to target all the muscles mentioned above.
But before we look into the best core exercises you can do at home, let’s explore the benefits of strengthening your core.
Benefits of Strong Core Muscles
A strong core offers numerous benefits. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy when you start doing the home core exercises below.
Physical Activities Become Easier
Do you always ask for help when lifting objects? That might change when you strengthen your core.
Even sitting down and standing will feel easier.
A strong core boosts overall strength and makes challenging exercises feel easy.
Even your athletic performance will improve. You’ll perform better if you’re a runner or a golfer.
Your Back Health May Improve
Core muscles are attached to the spine. This means strengthening them will stabilize the spine and fix any back problems you may have.
In fact, physical therapists usually recommend core exercises to people suffering from excruciating back pain. I’ve even included a few core exercises for back pain.
Better Balance and Stability
We lose balance as we age. This increases the risk of falls and fractures.
Doing the simplest beginner core exercises can improve your balance and reduce the risk of falling. I may also note that gaining balance will make it easier for you to perform unilateral leg exercises.
Your Posture May Improve
Did you know that a weak core can ruin your posture? Weak lower back muscles, for instance, can cause your belly to stick out even if you’re skinny. While weak upper back muscles can cause a slumping posture.
Good posture doesn’t just make you look confident, it also helps protect your spine.
The Best Core Exercises
On this list, you’ll find easy core exercises any beginner can do. Use these exercises to build your core strength. Then advance to hard core exercises as you get fitter.
Combine these core exercises with the 28 fat blasting workouts for fast weight loss.
1. Bird Dog Crunch
This exercise engages many core muscles at the same time. It mainly targets your back, glute, and ab muscles.
Crunching on each rep makes the exercise more effective than regular bird dogs.
Remember to squeeze your butt muscles as you extend your leg then tighten your ab muscles as you crunch.
2. Lying Toe Taps
This exercise tops the list of easy core exercises. It strengthens your core and builds ab muscles.
Control your movement while doing lying toe taps. Slowly lower your leg to the floor and raise it slowly.
Make sure your lower back is resting on the floor throughout. Arching your back makes the exercise less effective and increases the risk of back pain.
Placing your hands under your butt helps keep the lower back on the floor.
Skipping the plank in your core workout is a cardinal sin. The plank is one of the few exercises that build your transverse abdominis (inner ab muscles). It also activates your rectus abdominis and glutes.
Squeeze your butt and ab muscles throughout while holding the plank.
4. Glute Bridges
If you’re looking for lower back pain core exercises, look no further. Most physical therapists recommend glute bridges for easing lower back pain.
This exercise targets your lower back muscles, glutes, and hamstrings. Perform it slowly and squeeze your butt at the top position for 2 seconds before lowering it.
5. Table Maker
The table maker is an advanced variation of glute bridges. It will make your butt and back muscles stronger. It also activates the triceps while stretching the biceps and shoulders.
Raise your hips as high as possible on each rep and squeeze your glutes at the top.
Add stabilizing core exercises like this one to your routine to build core strength fast.
6. Lying Side Leg Raise
You can’t have a strong core with weak oblique muscles. This exercise activates your oblique muscles and improves hip mobility.
Raise the leg as high as possible and then slowly lower it to the floor.
7. Dead Bug
Are you looking for core exercises for seniors? Well, this one is ideal for beginners and seniors. It even helps improve coordination.
Make sure the foot doesn’t rest on the floor once you extend it. Perform the exercise slowly to get the most out of it.
You can make this exercise more rewarding by holding dumbbells and wearing ankle weights.
8. Side Plank Hip Raises
This is one of the best exercises for core stability. It strengthens the inner and outer oblique muscles.
Raise your hips as high as possible as you squeeze your oblique muscles. And keep your elbow directly below the shoulder.
If you find this exercise too challenging, use the regular side plank to boost your core strength.
9. Vertical Crunches
You can’t have a killer core workout without killer core exercises like this one.
Vertical crunches are the ultimate core exercise because they have a wide range of motion. Do them regularly if you want six pack abs.
10. Climber Taps
Climber taps work many core muscle groups. They active the abs, transverse abdominis, and oblique muscles. They also strengthen the shoulders and arms.
Avoid the common mistake of raising your hips as you perform this exercise.
11. Bicycle Crunches
This is one of the most effective ab exercises. It strengthens the core by building the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles.
Maintain a full range of motion. Crunch until your knee touches the opposite elbow on each rep.
Keep your neck in its neutral position instead of bringing your chin close to the chest.
This simple core exercise works your back muscles and glutes. Since most core workouts focus on abs, you must add this one to your core routine.
Simultaneously lift your feet, hands, and chest off the floor then hold for two seconds before lowering them.
13. Russian Twists
You’ve probably done Russian twists before. They target your ab and oblique muscles.
You can make this exercise easier by keeping your feet on the floor. Or make it more challenging by doing the twists while holding a dumbbell.
It’s important to keep your back slightly curved to protect your spine.
Who needs core workouts at the gym when you can do swimmers at home. This exercise will strengthen your core by building your back and glute muscles.
Remember to keep your neck in its neutral position and lift the leg and hand as high as possible on each rep.
15. Reverse Plank
Unlike most plank variations, this one builds your butt and lower back muscles. Raise your hips as high as possible and squeeze your glutes as you hold the reverse plank.
16. Reverse Plank Leg Raises
You should add reverse plank raises to your routine when training for core strength.
This unique exercise works different muscle groups at the same time. It targets your glutes, lower back, ab, arms, and leg muscles.
17. Prone Back Extensions
If you’ve been doing bodyweight core exercises, chances are you’ve been ignoring your upper back muscles.
This exercise builds the upper back and trapezius muscles. Feel free to hold light dumbbells while performing it.
18. Spiderman Plank
This is an advanced core exercise for abs. It works your rectus abdominis and oblique muscles.
Make sure your shoulders, hips, and knees are aligned in a straight line. Then pull your knee until it touches your arm.
You can do this exercise while in the elbow plank position or the full plank position.
19. Donkey Kicks
This exercise works your glutes and lower back muscles. It’s perfect for a killer core workout.
When doing this core exercise, raise your thigh as high as possible and then slowly lower it to the floor. You can wear ankle weights to make the exercise more challenging.
20. Triangle Crunches
Chances are you’ve never done this crunch variation. And frankly, you’ve been missing out!
Triangle crunches activate your oblique muscles and stabilize the core.
Crunch until the elbow touches the knee and then straighten the leg before repeating the movement.
21. Kneeling Side Leg Raises
All great core workouts should have this exercise. It builds the oblique and outer glute muscles.
Raise the leg as high as possible and then slowly lower it until it almost touches the floor before raising it again.
22. Crab Shoulder Taps
This may seem like an arm exercise but it activates the core when done properly.
To fully engage your core, keep your hips as high as possible throughout this exercise.
Since this exercise activates your triceps, do it often if you want a stronger core and toned arms.
23. High Donkey Kicks
This excellent exercise builds your butt and lower back muscles while stretching your hamstrings. It also strengthens your arms.
Avoid curving your back while doing this core building exercise as that will make it less effective.
24. T Push Ups
Did you know that strengthening your core is one of the secrets to getting better at push ups? A stronger core allows you to maintain proper form and do more reps.
Keep your butt tight while doing this exercise for proper body alignment.
25. Hollow Body Hold
I first came across this exercise when I was learning the free handstand (I’m still work in progress). It helps improve balance by stabilizing your core.
Only your glutes, lower and mid back should be touching the floor while performing this exercise.
26. Superman Planks
Are you looking for advanced core exercises? Look no further! This is one of the hardest core exercises.
This exercise challenges your core because you have to hold the plank while supporting your body with one arm and one leg.
27. L Sit
This isometric core exercise is quite challenging but it’s worth it. It strengthens your ab and arm muscles.
Keep your feet as high as possible while holding the L sit.
Stability Ball Core Exercises
Just because you want to strengthen your core at home doesn’t mean you should only do bodyweight core exercises. Using a stability ball builds core strength fast because it increases resistance and requires more core stabilization.
28. Hamstring Roll Ins
This exercise can be extremely rewarding even for those who already have a strong core.
Many of us have weak and tight hamstrings because of sitting for long hours. Hamstring roll ins help stretch and strengthen the hamstrings.
That’s not all. This exercise also strengthens your lower back and butt muscles.
29. Plank Circles
Plank circles are the ultimate core stabilization exercise since they force you to engage your entire core.
When doing this exercise keep your shoulders, hips and knees aligned in a straight line. And then make small circles while resting your elbows on the ball.
30. Ball Knee Tucks
Just like many core muscles exercises on this list, this one targets your abs. It also strengthens your arms and shoulders.
Keep your back slightly curved when performing this exercise to fully engage your abs. Bring the ball as close to your hands as possible and avoid sinking your hips as you extend the legs.
31. Ball Passes
Ball passes are a simple core abs exercise that improves coordination. Make sure the ball doesn’t rest on the floor as you perform this exercise.
Pass the ball as fast as you can while maintaining proper form.
32. Stability Ball Back Extensions
As the name suggests, this exercise works your back muscles. As I mentioned above, you can’t have a strong core with a weak back. So add this exercise to your core strength workouts.
33. Pike Ups
Pike ups are one of the best core exercises you’ll ever do. But I have to warn you this exercise is no child’s play. It not only requires core strength but you also need strong arms and shoulders.
When starting out, roll the ball forward a few inches and then roll it back. Increase the range of motion as you get fitter.
34. Ball Dead Bug
You already know that the dead bug is an excellent core exercise. Well, you can reap more benefits out of it by using a stability ball.
35. Back on Ball Twists
This exercise may seem easy yet it builds core stability fast.
Slowly move your hands from one side to the other. You can hold a dumbbell to challenge your core muscles more.
36. Ball Rollout
If you’re a beginner, easy core exercises like this one are perfect. This stability ball core exercise works your abs and has a wide range of motion compared to most core ab exercises.
Avoid arching your back as you roll forward as that may cause back pain. Keep your back slightly curved.
Standing Core Exercises
Doing core exercises on the floor all the time can be boring. Luckily, you can work your core muscles while standing.
I may also note that these exercises are ideal for anyone who can’t do floor core exercises because of wrist problems.
Woodchopper is one of the most popular standing core exercises. It mainly activates your abs and oblique muscles.
Remember to squeeze your ab muscles every time you chop. Hold a dumbbell to make the exercise more challenging.
38. Standing Cross Crunch
You have to love standing core strength exercises because they not only build your core but they also improve balance.
This exercise works your ab and oblique muscles while reducing the risk of falls as you age. Make sure your elbow touches your knee on each rep.
39. Elbow to Knee Crunch
You must add this exercise to your core workout if you want strong oblique muscles.
It’s almost impossible to mess up your form when doing the elbow to knee crunch. Just make sure you lift your knee sideways instead of forward. Then crunch until the elbow touches the knee.
You can place the dormant hand on the wall for support if you lack balance.
40. Standing Front Crunches
As you crunch, curve your back and tighten your abdominal muscles. Then raise your knee until it touches both elbows.
41. Squat Hold Twists
You’re probably familiar with this exercise if you’ve done my love handles workout.
It will strengthen your core and build your leg muscles at the same time. Face forward while doing the twists. Moving your head from side to side can make you dizzy.
42. Straight Leg Side Crunch
This exercise will definitely make your core stronger. It targets your oblique and outer butt muscles.
Squeeze your oblique muscles as you bend your torso. Wear ankle weights to challenge your muscles more.
43. Triangle Presses
This is one of the best exercises for core stability. It mainly targets your oblique muscles.
Bend sideways until you touch your foot while keeping both feet straight.
44. Single Leg Extensions
This is the ultimate core training exercise. It mainly targets your back muscles. It also builds your glutes and improves balance.
Keep the supporting knee slightly bent and your back straight throughout.
45. Bend Over Twists
Bend over twists activate your lower back and oblique muscles.
Keep your back slightly arched as you bend forward. Then tighten your ab muscles as you twist your torso to both sides. Don’t perform this exercise too fast.
46. Sumo Side Crunches
You’ve probably seen me do this exercise if you follow my workouts on youtube. It strengthens your core by building the oblique muscles.
Beware that your thighs will be burning while doing this exercise because it also activates your quadriceps.
47. Standing Pike Crunches
You can use this exercise for warm up or add it to a beginner core workout. It activates your abs and loosens the hamstrings.
Keep your abs tight throughout and raise your leg as high as possible while keeping it straight.
48. Single Leg Extensions Knee Tuck
You already know that single leg extensions work your back muscles. Adding the knee tuck to this move engages your ab muscles.
This exercise requires more balance but it’s totally worth it if you want to build core strength fast.
Dumbbell Core Workouts
Do you have dumbbells at home? If you don’t, consider investing in adjustable dumbbells. They’re excellent for building strength and adding variety to your workouts.
Just because you’re exercising at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do weights exercises for core. Take advantage of these simple yet effective dumbbell core exercises.
49. Dumbbell Side Bends
Observe your form while doing this exercise. Poor form can strain your spine or even worse cause back pain.
Avoid the common mistake of bending sideways without engaging your oblique muscles. Tighten your obliques as you bend sideways.
50. Bend Over Rows
Bend over rows strengthen your arms and core at the same time.
Bend forward until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your knees slightly bent and back arched. Do the rows from that position without moving your torso.
51. Good Mornings
This simple exercise activates your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.
Simply place dumbbells on your shoulders and then bend forward while keeping your back straight and knees slightly bent.
52. Single Leg Deadlift
Single leg deadlift also works the same muscles as good mornings – hamstrings, lower back, and glutes. And it helps improve balance.
Keep the active foot straight and the supporting knee slightly bent. If you’re a beginner, do this core exercise without dumbbells.
53. Balance Chop
This unique exercise will build your core muscles and strengthen your shoulders.
Keep your torso upright while performing it and perform the chops at a moderate pace to avoid injuries.
54. Core Stabilizer Twists
As the name suggests, this is a core stabilizing exercise. And the best part is it’s easy to perform even for out-of-shape beginners.
It’s better to use a light dumbbell and perform it properly than to use a heavy one and mess up the form.
55. Static Lunge Twists
Did you know lunges strengthen your core? When done properly, they strengthen your lower back muscles.
Twisting every time you lunge forward will activate your oblique muscles. Remember to keep your torso upright throughout.
Bonus: The Ab Wheel Roller
This list core exercises at home wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the ab wheel roller.
It’s probably the most effective workout equipment for building abs and strengthening the core. Use these ab wheel roller tips to build core strength fast.
Kneeling Ab Wheel Roll
This variation is ideal for beginners. Make sure you keep your back slightly curved while doing this exercise. Avoid arching your back.
Standing Ab Wheel Roll
Advance to this variation after you can do 20 reps of the kneeling variation nonstop. This one strengthens your arms and core while building your abs.
Reverse Ab Rolls
This variation is excellent for building your lower abs. It also builds your shoulder and arm muscles.
A stronger core will offer life-changing benefits. It will ease your back pain, improve your physical performance, improve your posture and much more.
Pick at least 3 exercises from this list and do them every morning. Then as advance to hard core exercises as you gain strength.
Combine these core exercises with the 28 fat blasting workouts if you want to lose weight. These workouts can help you lose weight in the shortest time humanly possible.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]