Here are 5 excellent exercises for beginners to develop your entire core instead of doing endless crunches.

Even though having a six-pack may seem amazing, strengthening your lower back, glutes, and obliques will give you a core that is actually stable. To keep you strong and steady when working out, all of these muscles work together to create a type of corset around your stomach.

Build that core strength with these 5 exercises:

1. The Plank
2. Deadbug
3. Reverse Crunch
4. Glute Bridge
5. Side Plank


Any level may benefit from the plank as a core-strengthening exercise. You learn how to brace your entire core, a skill that is helpful while completing other exercises like a squat or pull-ups. The goal is to maintain the position for a predetermined period of time, or for as long as you can without raising or lowering it. Rest if you have any lower back pain, and when you do the exercise again, maintain your pelvis drawn in near your belly button.

Key tips:

  • Make a straight line from your shoulders to your heels
  • Keep your elbows beneath your shoulders
  • Keep your pelvis and belly button pulled in to stop your back from arching
  • Stay relaxed and breathe.
  • The intention is not to squeeze but to stay braced.


The core may be fired up and activated with this workout. You’ll gain control over how you tighten your abdominal muscles as a result. Unlike the plank, it requires movement, so your abs will be stretching and tightening while still being under strain.

Although a little coordination is needed, it is easy to accomplish with enough practice. Try three sets of six to ten repetitions, or whatever many it takes to make your core glow.

Key tips:

  • Push your stomach into the floor to close the gap under your back
  • Extend 1 arm and leg straight out from the body
  • Bring your arm and leg back to the middle and repeat on the other side


The reverse crunch is a practical exercise for developing lower abdominal strength. It’s a fantastic foundational exercise that opens the door to advancements like leg raises, hanging leg raises, and eventually toes to bar. Aim to lift your hips off the ground by bringing your knees up to your chest, which will cause your tummy to constrict. Do three sets of 8–12 repetitions.

Key tips:

  • Keep your knees bent with your heels close to your bum
  • Place your hands by your side for stability
  • As you lower your feet try to keep them slightly elevated from the floor
  • Aim to slightly lift your hips at the top of the movement to get full ROM


Your glutes are a component of your core, and when they are used during exercise, they may significantly increase your strength. Be sure not to forget about them. Consider performing glute bridges, which may be done with or without weight on your hips, to start developing core strength from the glutes.

The idea is to thrust your hips forward while lying on your back with your legs bent. You may need to intentionally tighten your glutes to prevent your hamstrings and lower back muscles from taking control. 3 sets of 12–15 repetitions could work.

Key tips:

  • Pivot on your shoulders and push your heels into the floor
  • Move your hips forward by squeezing your glutes tightly
  • Avoid arching your back
  • Keep your hips off the floor as you lower to hold tension through your set


Your obliques, which are the muscles on each side of your abs, will be worked out by doing a side plank. This exercise is done as an isometric hold, similar to the plank, but you may also lift and drop your hips to make it more dynamic. This exercise will guarantee that the sides of your core are stable during your workout regimen.

You’ll see that throughout this workout, your abs are braced as well. Try holding either side for a certain amount of time or as long as you can.

Key tips:

  • Place your lower elbow directly beneath your shoulder
  • Lift your hips from the ground to form a straight line along your body
  • If you find it difficult try bending and resting on your lower knee
  • Use your top arm for balance or place your hand on your obliques to feel the tension


Consider combining these exercises to create a beginner’s core workout. Once you can finish the program without discomfort, consider advancing each exercise by increasing the weight or the intensity!

1. Deadbug – 3 sets of 10 reps (on each side)
Progression: Alekna or Jack Knife

2. Plank – 3 sets holding as long as possible
Progression: Weighted plank or plank with feet against a wall

3. Reverse Crunch – 3 sets of 12 reps
Progression: Leg raise, or hanging knee raise

4. Side Plank – 3 sets of a 30-second hold (on each side)
Progression: Dynamic side plank or weighted side plank

5. Glute Bridges – 3 sets of 15 reps
Progression: Weighted hip thrusts

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