So you want to learn about the best core exercises?
Well, my friend, you've come to the right place!
We help men, women and intergalactic bounty hunters to become stronger as part of ourPrograma de coaching on-line individual, and we always put an emphasis on the core muscles when creating workouts for clients.
Here's what we'll cover:
- Why is training the core muscles important?
- What are the best core exercises for beginners?
- How can I strengthen my core at home?
- Top 5 basic exercises
- Basic exercises to avoid (skip the crunches)
- “Which exercise burns the most belly fat?” (Best core exercises for weight loss)
- How to build a core workout (next steps)
All right, buckeroo, let's do this!
You use your core muscles for almost everything:
- Getting out of bed in the morning? Not without a robust core.
- Pushing a grocery cart across the parking lot? Your core will make it happen.
- Battling ninjas who just discovered your secret identity? Karate kicks require a strong core.
So what exactly do we mean when we say “essential”?
Contrary to popular belief, your core isn't just your abs.
Some of the muscles found in your core include:
- Column erector:this is the muscle around your spine and it helps you stay upright.
- abdominal dean:better known as your “abdomen”.
- obliques:they are found on the sides of the trunk and help you twist (and scream).
- gluteal muscles:aka "glutes" or "butt" or "bum" or "butt" or — okay, you get the point — that connects your legs to your core.
You may also hear your core referred to as your “trunk”. Same thing.
The core muscles are really the foundation of the human body.And just like building a house, when it comes to fitness, you need to start with a solid foundation.
That's why we focus on building a strong core with each of ourour coaching clients.
What are the best core exercises for beginners? How can I strengthen my core at home?
If you're just starting your fitness journey, we won't have you diving into the deep end just yet.
Here they areBest core exercises for beginners:
Your entire core is engaged in a plank as you stabilize in a straight line (don't sink)!
If you can't hold yourself up in a full plank, never fear, you can start with…
#2) Knee Plank
Just like a regular board, but you have your knees for support. Start with that until you can do the real thing.
#3) Hip Bridge
The hip bridge will activate your glutes and the rest of your core as you lift your body.
#4) The hollow body support
The hollow body is one of the best ways to engage your belly and stabilize your body.We used the hollow body exercise as part of our strategy togetting your first handstand.
When you feel comfortable holding the position, try…
#5) The hollow body swing
These 5 exercises will go a long way toward developing serious core strength.
“Steve, those moves are easy to piss off. What are some basic advanced exercises?
Top 5 basic exercises
Now the real fun begins.
Here they areO5 best core exercises:
Squats? Yes, squat.
Squats train nearly every muscle in your core (and lower body).Your core is engaged as you stabilize yourself up and down. If you haven't trained squats yet, start with a simple bodyweight assisted squat:
You can also read ourcomplete guide on how to perform squatsto level up your game.
We're big fans of deadlifts around here. It's not just a core exercise, but it's really an EVERYTHING exercise (lower body, core and upper body).
Senior Trainer Stacicredits performing deadlifts on your visible abdomen:
If you want a strong core,start deadlifting.
Just as a plank forces you to stabilize your core, a pushup will do all that and more as you push yourself up and down.
How's your push-up form? Most people do this incorrectly.
Read our complete guide onhow to do a proper pushupto improve your technique.
Yes, push-ups are an upper body exercise. But you'll engage your core as you lift. The more you keep your body in check (don't jump up and down), the more you'll train your core.
Still can't pull-up? No problem, read "How to Get Your First Push-Up in 30 Days.”
#5) Knees to Elbow
It will challenge your core like you wouldn't believe. The slower you go, the more intense it will be.
Bonus Core Exercise: Toes on the Bar
This is an advanced move, but a great basic exercise that only requiresa pull-up bar!
Are you doing these moves correctly?
A good way to check would be to record a video of yourself and compare it to the gifs and videos here. If they look closely, you're doing great!
The other option would be to hire a trained professional to review your form, which we can do in ourPrograma de coaching on-line individual!
Our sophisticated mobile app allows you to send a video of your training directly to your trainer, who will provide feedback so you can perfect your technique.
They will also create an exercise program tailored to your situation that can improve your core strength!
Why You Shouldn't Do Sit-ups
You may have noticed that we didn't cover abs in our guide to the best basic exercises.
This is 100% intentional. You don't need to do sit-ups.
In fact, there's an argument that you SHOULD NOT do sit-ups.
Sit-ups can be hard on your back.They are also an incomplete exercise as they don't work your entire core (stomach AND lower back).
Then skip the sit-ups.
Instead, I recommend you opt for a Reverse Crunch:
“Which exercise burns the most belly fat?” (Best core exercise for weight loss)
There is a common belief that if you simply do enough crunches or sit-ups, you will get a flat stomach.
I hate to break it to you, but that's not true.
It’s something I mention in the article: “Can You Really Banish Belly Fat?”
You cannot detect the reduction of fat in your body:
- Not on the thighs.
- Not in your love handles.
- Not in your belly.
This is why Thighmaster is a joke:
Depending on your age, weight, gender and genetic makeup, your body will lose fat in a certain order from certain parts of your body that you cannot control.
Here are some things to consider:
- Everyone has abdominal muscles.Yes, even you! They may be small or skinny, but everyone has six pack abs. They may just be hidden under a layer of fat. No judgement, just reality.
- Fat does NOT turn into muscle – they are two different things.Like oil and water, fat sits on top of muscle. You could have ridiculously strong abs ready to show off, but if they're buried under a lot of fat, no amount of exercise will give you a flat stomach or make those abs stand out, because it doesn't resolve the fat on top of your body. muscles.
- A flat stomach only appears when you have onelow enough body fat percentage. The reason there are 1,000,000,000 abs exercises on YouTube is that people know there is A LOT of money in the abs industry for people desperate for a flat stomach! And ab exercises are much easier to call exciting than "eat better, get stronger, move more, longer."
So whether you want a flat stomach or six pack abs, we need to come up with a plan for sustainable weight loss.
I know, MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE.
Fear not, I have some resources for you:
- How to Lose Weight Without Dieting (The 5 Rules to Lose Weight):you've probably been on a diet before. You might even be on a diet right now. We discuss why they often don't work (temporary changes create temporary results) and provide a less conventional but more permanent solution (small changes to victory).
- Our One-to-One Online Coaching Program:many of our customers have spent years managing their weight by switching from one diet to another. Only by working with one of our trainers did they succeed.achieve sustainable weight loss.
How to build a core workout (next steps)
Now that we know how to perform the best core exercises, do you know what time it is?
It's my favorite time.
It's time tobuild an exercise routine!
As trainer Staci advises in the video below, we recommend strength training two to three times a week with full-body training for beginners:
This full-body workout will hit:
- Quads (front of legs).
- Butt and hamstrings (back of legs).
- Chest, shoulders and triceps: muscles (push).
- Back, biceps and grip (“pull” muscles).
- Core (abs and lower back).
We just went over what you should do for the last segment, “core”.
What must you do for others?For ideas, read our guide: “How to build your own exercise routine.”
This will help you build a practice to grow strong.
Don't be put off by my comment that you should train "two to three times a week". If you can only do one full body workout once a week, that's MUCH BETTER than no workouts a week.
Once we start the practice, we can always work on increasing the frequency later on.
The most important thing you can do today: get started!
Want a little help getting started? The perfect next step on what should you do now?
Here are 3 options for how to continue with Nerd Fitness:
Option #1) If you want step-by-step guidance on how to lose weight, eat better and get stronger, check out our killerPrograma de coaching individual:
Option 2)If you want an exact roadmap to getting in shape, check out NF Journey.Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more often, eat healthier, and improve your life (literally).
In addition, we have quests specifically designed to help you achieve a strong core.
Try your free trial here:
Option #3) Join the Rebellion!We need good people like you in our community, Nerd Fitness Rebellion.
Sign up below and receive our free guideStrength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. Includes step-by-step instructions forBest core exercisescovered in today's guide.
Download our complete guide STRENGTH TRAINING 101!
Download our complete guide STRENGTH TRAINING 101!
Alright, enough of me. Your time:
Do you agree with my list of the best core exercises?
Do you think I'm missing any?
Am I completely wrong in my position on the sit-ups?
Let me know in the comments!
PS:Many of the exercises covered today came from our post “The 42 best bodyweight exercises.” Read on if you want to start training without a gym!
GIF source:kung fu challenge