Beginner’s Guide To Core Workouts
Keeping your core strong is essential to be able to perform everyday activities efficiently. You use your core when you are sitting, standing, and everything in between. Your core muscles wrap around your entire midsection and help to keep you upright and balanced. Essentially, it is the “core” of all of your muscle strength. Developing a solid core is a great foundation for your fitness routine. So, we want to share with you our core workouts for beginners.
What Is The Core?
Your core is everything in the center of your body. Your back, abs, obliques, and lats are all a part of your core muscle group. You engage your core with every movement you make, and your core muscles are responsible for keeping you upright and balanced. So, this muscle group is incredibly important and often overlooked.
Benefits of A Strong Core
- Improves posture and back pain
- Improves balance and stability
- Become a better runner
- Reduce the risk of injury
- Improves breathing
- Improves all-around strength & durability
- Safer everyday movement
Types of Core Workouts
1 | Using Bodyweight
The most common way to work on your core is through bodyweight workouts. You can do this by practicing crunches, bicycle kicks, sitting twists, low planks, side planks, glute bridges, and even leg lifts. You don’t need any equipment to have a solid core. Which is great for working out at home, in the park, and everywhere you go.
An added bonus is that bodyweight ab exercises can work other parts of your body like your glutes, arms, shoulders, legs, and more!
2 | Using Core Machines
If bodyweight workouts are not cutting it for you, you can work on your core with machines. Try out the ab crunch machine, cable crunch, dumbbell side bends, ab glider, incline sit-ups, or the Roman chair the next time you want to use a machine for your core exercise.
1 | Stick To Body Weight Exercises
The best way to start has the lowest barrier to entry. Try laying on your mat as your starting position, and start with some simple core exercises.
2 | Keep It Short
You don’t have to spend an hour crunching your abs every day. Keep your core exercises short in the beginning. Try working out between 5-7 minutes, and slowly work your way up to a 10-minute routine or longer.
3 | Two Times A Week Max
Space out your core training to make sure that you are giving your muscles enough rest between exercises. We recommend working on your core a maximum of two times a week.
4 | Mix And Match
Don’t only focus on one group of core muscles. Make sure that you mix it up. Focus on upper core muscles, side core muscles, and your lower core. You can mix and match throughout your journey to keep your workouts exciting and fresh. You can even try a core-centric group exercise class like Abs Central.
5 | Take Time To Stretch
Okay, so you stretch after a run or an arm workout, but do you stretch after you work on your abs? Probably not. However, it is just as important to stretch your core muscles after a tough workout, as it is with any other muscle group. Stretching will help to reduce muscle fatigue and aid in your muscle recovery.
6 | Remember To Breathe
Your muscles need a consistent flow of oxygen to perform. Don’t be tempted to hold in your breath as you crunch. Instead, try and inhale and exhale with your movements. It is vital to maintain your breathing during any exercise (unless you are swimming, of course).
7 | Listen To Your Body
You know when it is time to stop, but a timer does not. Just because you set out to do an 8-minute core exercise does not mean that is what your body needs. So, listen to your body. When it is time to stop, stop. Don’t overdo it, get plenty of rest in between ab exercises, and allow your body to adjust to this new workout plan.
Whether you are tying your shoe or sitting at your desk for work, you are relying on your core for its strength. By using this guide, we hope that you will lay a foundation for a strong and stable core. You can work on your core exercises at any of our gyms or with our free workout videos. Stop in, get a tour from one of our team members, and enjoy getting stronger at our facilities. We cannot wait to meet you!