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The 8 Best Ab Workouts for Beginners

Have you watched a Marvel movie and were stricken with washboard envy? You are not alone! If you are beginning your journey to a healthy lifestyle and starting a new workout regime? I have put together the best ab workouts for beginners to help build your foundation to your six-pack.

Ab Workouts for Beginners - a trainer showing a woman how to exercise

Core and workouts

The core might be the weakest area for many runners, and it makes a huge difference in performance, speed, and form. You should train your core before you go for a run or during your strength training workout, not at the end. As it’s a priority, you must prioritize it. You can get your desired and strong abs by following these exercises. Are you up for the challenge?

  1. Plank

The plank is a bodyweight exercise that involves holding the trunk part of your body in a straight line off the ground. The static exercise engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which makes it extremely effective at strengthening your core. It works with the glutes, arms, and shoulders. 

Planks are also an effective safeguard against back pain. As Planks strengthen your core, it might help to alleviate pressure on your back. They’re a great addition to any exercise routine as they’re equipment-free and quick to perform.

Plank variations

  • Side plank 
  • Single-leg plank 
  • Medicine-ball plank
  • Forearm plank 
  • Standard plank 
  • Knee plank 

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Common planking mistakes

  • Letting your head drop 
  • Forgetting to breathe 
  • Reaching your butt to the sky 
  • Collapsing your lower back 
  • Focusing too much on the stopwatch
  1. Body Saw

This is a simple and highly effective bodyweight core exercise. It’s a bit like a plank. If you can hold a plank for a couple of minutes at a time, this exercise might be a rude awakening for your abs – one that triggers new muscle growth and increased levels of strength. 

The body saw is an anti-extension and isometric core exercise. There is no need to move much, but you still have to work hard to maintain your position. However, unlike the plank, where you remain motionless, you purposely move your body with the body saw. 

Here is an awesome video for beginners interested in building those washboard abs:

Significant body saw tips

Here are some tips about this exercise. You can follow these tips to avoid mistakes and get more results.

1. Control your range of movement.

2. Don’t hold your breath.

3. Stop if your back hurts.

4. Don’t do this exercise too often. 

Targeted Muscles

Body saw exercise works with almost every muscle that makes up your core. 

It targets the following muscles:

  • Rectus abdominus
  • Obliques
  • Transverse abdominus
  • Diaphragm 
  • Pelvic floor
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Benefits

Here are five benefits of body saw that make it so unique that you should include this exercise in your core workouts.

  1. Increased instability 
  2. Changing lever lengths
  3. Easy to modify
  4. Count reps, and not time
  5. Increased difficulty

Variations

Body saw is a tremendous exercise, but it’s not the only ultimate version of this core building move. Here are a few other body saw variations to try.

1 – Push-up body saw

2 – TRX body saw

3 – Stability ball body saw  

  1. Lateral Plank Walk

Lateral Plank Walk primarily targets your core, abs, and shoulders. It is a calisthenics and Pilates exercise. It will have you at the top of the push-up position with your palms planted on the ground. This exercise strengthens your core muscles and reduces your chances of injury. It works with your balance coordination and increases your strength.

Plank is one of the best calorie-burning and effective workouts. A plank hold works on multiple muscles at once and benefits your body’s core strength. It doesn’t only burn the fat around your abdomen area but also gives you improved flexibility, posture as well as a tighter tummy.

Muscles Worked

The lateral plank walk is a full-body exercise. It targets:

  1. Hamstrings
  2. Obliques
  3. Deltoids
  4. Quadriceps
  5. Triceps
  6. Calves
  7. Abdominals
  8. Latissimus Dorsi
  9. Biceps
  10. Pectorals Major
  11. Gluteus Maximus

Similar Exercises

  • The Walking Plank
  • The Bear Crawl
  • Plank Ups
  1. Forearm Side Plank Twist

The forearm plank is an effective, static core exercise that is similar to holding the top of a push-up, with both the elbows and hands making contact with the floor. 

It targets the following for building and strengthing:

  • Core
  • Back
  • Leg
  • Arm 

It helps work your abs and obliques and trains your glutes, quads, and shoulders. Typically, you can do this exercise after crunches or other upper and lower ab exercises. Twisting Planks are unique because they can tone your waist.

Oblique training can even help to improve other exercises like squatting and deadlifts.

Usually, when you start getting rid of layers of body fat, the obliques are visible. But targeting these muscles directly with added resistance makes them more prominent. The effect is actually to thicken your waist because the obliques are positioned mainly along the sides of your torso.

When you push your spine against the floor, it can cause lower back pain later. Additionally, planks don’t just work on your core; they work on your entire body. Planks require your arms, your legs, and all of your abs, making them an all-encompassing workout and a more efficient way to exercise.

  1. Leg Raises

Leg Raises is a strength training exercise that might enable you to build the core while you are lying down. It improves your flexibility, stability, and balance.

It is an incorporating exercise that is convenient, time-saving, but at the same time, effective. It is the best way to fitness. 

For doing this exercise, all you have to do is simply lie down on your back, with your hands by your sides. Just keep your knees up and your feet on the floor. Now, lift your legs straight up in the air, and use your core muscles to do so.

You can lower the legs halfway or all the way. It depends on you, and lift your legs back. Don’t lift your shoulders and never apply pressure on your chest while doing this exercise. Never arch your back as you bring the legs down. Breathe in as you lower your legs and breathe out as you lift them.

Benefits

The benefits of leg raises are the following:

  • It helps to lose weight from the legs, and lower abdomen
  • Tones strengthen muscles in your abdomen and legs
  • An effective exercise for lower abs
  • Can strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles.
  • It helps improve focus and attention
  1. Warrior Balance

The warrior balance is similar to a single-leg deadlift that works your core, hamstrings, and glutes. It focuses on your torso stability and keeping your core engaged—it’s more complicated than it looks! Let’s see how it is done.

Firstly, stand straight with your arms at your sides, holding the medicine ball in each hand. Keep your knees slightly bent. Now lift your right leg behind you and bend to lower your torso until it is parallel to the ground. Lastly, raise your arms to the front until they are in line with your shoulders and parallel to the floor. 

To do this exercise best, hold for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise and raise your left leg now. Go back into the starting position and repeat the exercise according to the training plan alternating legs.

Benefits

  • This workout strengthens your shoulders, legs, ankles, arms, and back.
  • It helps open your hips, lungs, and chest and stretches your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, belly, groins, and ankles. 
  • The warrior balance improves focus, stability, and balance.
  • It encourages good respiration, circulation and energizes the entire body. 
  • You might get a good stretch of quadriceps and hamstrings, chest, and hips, as well as a back extension of the erector spinal muscle with the help of this workout.
  1. Bicycle Crunches

Crunches and sit-ups are the most popular movements. The bicycle crunch is a classic core exercise that mainly works on your abdominal muscles. It helps ton your muscles sides of the trunk and around the abs, back, and pelvis. Many people do this exercise on day to day basis. Never do small in and out motions with your legs and curve your back away from the floor. 

It helps in toning the thighs and side abdominal muscles. To make it more interesting, different crunch variations are usually practiced. A few mistakes while doing this exercise might affect the results and may lead to strain or injuries. So if you want to avoid those mistakes, you might not pull your neck up with your hands behind your head while doing this exercise. 

  1. Squat with Offset

If you develop a solid core, it will increase your stability and balance whether you’re an exercise newbie or you’re getting back into fitness after a lapse. You’ll perform more advanced moves with confidence as you regain your strength. A strong core isn’t all about six-pack abs. Every time you carry laundry, groceries, or even kids, you rely on your core as a base of strength.

Hold a weight in your right hand while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your body upright, resisting the weight and pulling in one direction, lower yourself into a squat position. Do not round your back and keep your knees tracking over your toes. Use your glutes to raise into the start position and repeat.

“Lots of beginners have upper back tension or lower back issues,” says Rubin. “Your core is located in your posterior chain, and strengthening it will help keep your chest up and your spine strong,” which can correlate to some back pain relief.

The Workout

If you’re short on time, make these moves, and get going with your day. If you have extra time, you can add 10-minute abs exercises to the end of a total-body workout. Do each exercise in AMRAP style (as many reps as possible) for 30 seconds. You can do this circuit in 10 minutes and 4 times to get a full abs workout. 

You can also take a break of 30-second between each round of your circuit. You can also eliminate breaks or take shorter breaks—the shorter your breaks, the more cardio burn you’ll add.

Final Words

Exercise, fitness, and a healthy diet go hand in hand. If you want to stay healthy and fit, you have to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your routines and make them a part of your lifestyle. These are The 8 Best Ab Workouts for Beginners that will help give you stronger Abs, prevents lower-back pain, improve your posture, improve sports performance, develop a slimmer waistline, and breathe better with a strong core.

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Noble

My name is Noble, I have a passion for fitness and all things related to healthy living. My mission is to share my story and help those who wish to make a healthy change. Follow me on socials.

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