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Beginner core workout

BY Added Health Editorial Team | 19 December 2022
Strong abdominal muscles play a significant role to help support and stabilize your spine and helping to keep the hips properly aligned. Strengthening your core can help to reduce back pain as it lessens the pressure on your spine.
Adding regular back-strengthening core workouts can benefit everyone, from those sitting at a desk all day to those who are more active. This workout requires no equipment so, get started with it now!
In this workout:
  • Complete each warm-up and cool-down activity twice for 30 seconds.
  • Each working set will consist of three exercises.
  • Take a two-minute break in between each set.

Warm-up

Walk outs
  1. Begin with your feet hip-width apart, arms at the sides.
  2. Hinge at your hips, touching the floor with your hands and slowly crawl into a high plank position.
  3. Pause for a couple of seconds with your shoulders over your wrists and engage the abdominal muscles.
  4. Then, shuffle your hands back to your feet and stand up.
    Repeat steps.
Knee hugs
  1. Begin standing up straight.
  2. Lift your right knee, grabbing it with both hands and pull it high and bring it to your chest. At the same time, lift your left heel while keeping your back neutral.
  3. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
  4. Slowly release your right knee, take a step forward with your left leg and repeat.
Cat-cow stretch
  1. Begin on your hands and knees, and tuck your head down as you arch your back, similar to how a cat does it.
  2. Straighten your neck all the way upwards, and drop your belly downwards, stretching the abdominal muscles.
  3. Perform for 30 seconds and repeat again.

Workout

Bird dog
  1. Begin on your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Pull your abdominal muscles into your spine. Keep your back and pelvis steady, and extend your right arm forward and left leg back.
  3. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
Crunches
  1. Begin lying on the floor with your feet flat and hip-width apart and knees in a 45-degree position. Place your arms across your chest and tighten your abs.
  2. Lift your upper body while keeping your neck and head neutral.
  3. Once up, slowly lower down and repeat.
Plank
  1. Begin on the floor with your elbows under the shoulders and knees on the floor. Walk each leg back one at a time, so you’re supported by only your feet and hands.
  2. Keep your hips upright and in line with your shoulder. Tighten your abs and clench your glutes, and try keep your body straight, from head to heels.
  3. If this position is challenging, keep the position and drop your knees to the floor and hold.

Cool-down

Cobra pose
  1. Begin lying on the floor on your belly with your feet flat and your hands directly under the shoulders.
  2. Inhale and simultaneously straighten your arms, lifting your chest off the floor. 
  3. Lean your head back and hold this pose for 15-30 seconds, relax and then repeat.
Cat-cow stretch
  1. Begin on your hands and knees, positioning your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  2. Inhale, curling your toes and tilting your pelvis back so your tailbone sticks up. Keep your abdominals tight while your belly drops, and gently gaze up towards the ceiling keeping your neck neutral.
  3. Exhale, uncurling your toes, pushing your pelvis forward and round your spine outwards, tucking in your tailbone, dropping your head, and relaxing. Repeat.
Side bend
  1. Begin standing straight with your feet hip-width apart, looking ahead of you.
  2. Lift your right arm above your head and slowly bend to your torso, leaning left, with your left arm down by your side until you feel a stretch on the right side. Hold the stretch without twisting or leaning forward.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.
  4. You can stand next to a wall for more support, so your outstretched hand can use the wall as extra support.