The Best Core Exercises

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Our core muscles include abdominal muscles, muscles in our back and around our pelvis.

 Keeping these muscles strong can help stabilise your body, support the spine and improve overall fitness.

The following are top exercises to improve your core at any fitness level.

Core Exercises for Beginner

Start with these basic exercises if you’re new to exercising or if it’s been a while since you last worked out.

If you can, it might also be a good idea to speak with a personal trainer about the appropriate number of repetitions and sets for your particular fitness level and objectives.

You’ll hear the advice to “tighten your core” throughout these exercises, but how can you tell whether you’re really achieving that?

Starting with an inhalation and visualising moving your belly button towards your spine is an excellent place to start. For a few seconds, maintain that tensed posture with your muscles.

Engaging, or tightening, your core will feel like your stomach muscles are braced.


This position tones your thighs and butt while using your glutes to raise your hips and strengthen your core.

  • From your back, begin. Plant your feet hip-width apart on the floor while bending your knees. Hold out your hands, palms down, at your sides.
  • Glutes and core should be tight.
  • Lift your hips till your knees and shoulders line up.
  • For 10 to 30 seconds, hold.
  • Repeat 3–5 times.


An effective way to improve your core is with crunches. Your abs are worked out as you raise your upper body.

Crunches should be done carefully if you occasionally have low back pain. Start with a small number of reps and advance slowly.

Before doing this traditional crunch, see a skilled trainer or healthcare provider if your low back problem is chronic. That might not be your best course of action.

  • From your back, begin. Plant your feet hip-width apart on the floor while bending your knees. Align your cranium and vertebrae. Spread your arms above your chest.
  • While letting go of your shoulders and neck, tighten your core. Maintaining your lower back, pelvis, and feet on the floor, tuck your chin in and raise your upper back. Hold on.
  • To go back to where you were, slowly flex your upper back.
  • Begin with a single 8–12 rep set.

A Bird Dog

The bird dog is a great exercise to build your core since it works your back and abdominal muscles. It also tests your stability, balance, and coordination.

  • With your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips, begin on all fours.
  • Make your core tight. Raise your right leg to hip level and straighten it. Raise and extend your left arm to shoulder height while keeping your palm down. As you stretch your arm and leg, maintain a neutral spine and avoid letting your back arch.
  • Hold on.
  • Continue with your right arm and left leg.
  • Begin with a single 8–12 rep set.

Bicycle crunch

This version of the standard crunch targets your hips, rectus abdominous, and obliques.

With your left leg bent and pulled towards your chest, begin with your back on the floor. Maintain a straight right leg that is slightly elevated above the ground. Make sure not to pull on your neck while you perform this movement by placing your hands behind your neck or on the base of your head.

  • Raise your right shoulder off the ground and bring your right elbow towards your left knee while keeping your right leg straight and your left knee bent.
  • Bend your right knee and pull it towards your chest while you extend your left leg and return your right shoulder back to the floor.
  • Elevate your left shoulder off the ground and shift your left elbow in the direction of your right knee as it descends farther.
  • Start with twelve alternating repetitions in three sets.

Intermediate moves


A full-body workout that works your core is the plank. Additionally, it tones your legs, glutes, back, shoulders, and arms.

  • With your hands behind your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips, begin on all fours.
  • Maintaining your feet hip-width apart, straighten your legs behind you. Make your core tight.
  • For 10 to 30 seconds, hold.
  • 3–5 times over.
  • Maintain your knees on the floor and your weight over your hands to make this exercise simpler. Maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

Warrior crunch

This form of the crunch targets the thighs, glutes, and quadriceps as well as your core.

  • Position yourself such that your toes point outward and your feet are little broader than shoulder width. Open your chest and place your hands behind your head.
  • Glutes and core should be tight. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, bend your knees.
  • With your right elbow pointing towards your right leg, biceps incline sideways. On the left side, repeat.
  • Begin with a single 8–12 rep set.

Advanced moves

Try your hand at an advanced core routine once you’ve mastered intermediate movements. Your muscles will be used in increasingly complicated ways throughout these workouts, which will further strengthen your core.

Mountain climber

This intermediate workout is great for strengthening your core and balance since it mixes planking with knee motions.

  • With your hands behind your shoulders, begin in a plank position. Make your core tight.
  • Maintaining a straight back and downcast hips, raise your right knee towards your chest.
  • Lift your left knee towards your chest while simultaneously bringing your right leg back to the beginning position.
  • Go on switching up the legs. Begin with a single 8–12 rep set.

Side plank with rotation

This exercise is a more difficult variation of the fundamental plank. It works your obliques, shoulders, and arms by mixing arm motions with a side plank.

  • With your right forearm beneath your shoulder, lie on your right side. Stretch your legs, placing your left foot above your right. Make your core tight.
  • To make a straight line with your body, lift your hips. Straighten your left arm and raise it.
  • Bring your left arm beneath your body and turn your torso towards the floor.
  • To straighten your left arm and get back to beginning position, rotate your body once more.
  • Begin with a single 8–12 rep set.
  • Continue on the opposite side.

Turkish get-up

This full-body exercise is an excellent method to enhance hip, lumbar, and thoracic spine mobility in addition to strengthening your spine. It’s also excellent for strengthening the shoulder and abdominal muscles that surround your spine.

If you are not confident that your shoulders are solid enough to support weight above, do this action once or twice without a weight and then begin with something light, like five pounds. As you gain strength, use a heavier weight.

  • Lay flat on your back with your arms at a 45-degree angle and your legs extended straight out.
  • With your right foot planted a few inches from your butt on the ground, flex your right leg.
  • Making a fist with your right hand and pointing your knuckles upward can assist stabilise your shoulder as you raise your right arm straight up towards the ceiling.
  • Keep your eyes fixed on your fist since that’s where the weight will ultimately land. For the duration of the manoeuvre, you should maintain your hand squarely above your shoulder.
  • Next, raise yourself onto your left elbow by pushing through your right heel and left elbow. Make sure your chest is pointing forward rather than upward towards the sky.
  • Then, let your abs do the majority of the work as you bring your body into a sitting position by pressing your left hand into the floor.
  • After that, move your left leg beneath you, aligning your left ankle and knee with your left hand.
  • Taking your left hand off the floor, bend down to a kneeling position with your left knee and right foot planted on the ground.
  • Maintaining your right arm up, plant your right foot firmly on the ground and extend your left leg forward, like to a lunge. Now you ought to be on your feet!
  • Continue the motions backward until your back touches the ground once more.
  • Begin with three to five repetitions.

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