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5-Minute Beginner Ab Workout (No Equipment)

Build strong core muscles at home with this no equipment, 5-minute beginner ab workout! Target the upper abs, lower abs and obliques. Build foundational core strength to stabilize your body during daily activities.

This is the perfect, quick and effective ab workout for beginners!

Strong core muscles are important for beginners and advanced athletes alike. A weak core requires other muscle groups to overcompensate which can often lead to injury and low back pain.

Add these five ab exercises for beginners onto any strength training workout, or knock it out all on it’s own.

woman performing a bent knee leg lower in a beginner ab workout at home
What Are The Best Ab Exercises For Beginners?

Variations of planks and dead bugs are some of my favorite beginner ab exercises. These can be done without any equipment, and can be scaled up or down depending on your fitness level. You’ll find variations of these exercises in today’s workout!

How Often Should A Beginner Do Ab Workouts?

I recommend adding targeted ab and core workouts to your fitness routine 1-3 times per week for the best results. For a more structured workout program, try following one of my free home workout plans.

Who Can Do This Beginner Ab Workout?

This beginner ab workout is great for any fitness level. If you’re rebuilding core strength postpartum, this is a great core workout to add to your Diastasis Recti Repair Program or Postpartum Workout Plan. If you’re pregnant, this is a good option to try in your first or second trimester as long as you’re still comfortable lying on your back. Otherwise, I’d recommend these 8 Pregnancy Core Exercises.

woman performing a modified side plank and toe touch in a beginner ab workout for women

5-Minute Beginner Ab Workout

This five-minute ab workout is effective because all five ab exercises use the core to stabilize your body as you move your arms and legs in different directions — from toe taps to dead bug and planks.

AND that’s exactly what the core is designed to do — stabilize your body as you move your arms and legs.

This bodyweight, beginner ab workout is a quick an effective way to build core strength at home.

Workout Equipment:

None, just your bodyweight.

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Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Beginner Ab Workout Video on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 5 Beginner Ab Exercises
  • Timed Intervals (40 seconds of work per exercise followed by 20 seconds of rest)
  • No Repeats

Workout Outline

  1. Lying Bent Knee Toe Taps
  2. Dead Bug
  3. Modified Side Plank and Toe Touch, R
  4. Rolling Plank
  5. Modified Side Plank and Toe Touch, L

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Beginner Abs

4 Ab Exercises for Beginners

Lying Bent Knee Toe Taps

Targets: Transverse abdomen (deep core muscles below your rectus abdomen or six pack ab muscles), lower abs and hip flexors.

The closer your knees are to your chest the easier this ab exercise will be; the farther your knees are from your chest, the harder this exercise will be.

woman lying on her back to perform bent knee toe taps in a beginner ab workout at home

How To Do Lying Bent Knee Toe Taps

  1. Start lying on your back, core engaged, pressing your lower back into the mat.
  2. Lift your knees to form a 90-degree angle (knees stacked on top of hips)
  3. Imagine there is a string connecting your hipbones. To activate your transverse abdominal muscles pull your hip bones towards one another.
  4. Then, with control, tap your right toe to the mat.
  5. Return to the starting position and then tap your left toe to the mat.
  6. Alternate tapping each toe to the mat without letting your low back pop off the mat.

Dead Bug

Targets: Rectus abdominis (six pack ab muscles), obliques and transverse abs.

The deadbug is a great beginner ab exercise because it’s easy on your neck and back (both the neck and back stay resting on the mat throughout this exercise).

woman performing a dead bug core exercise in a beginner ab workout

How To Do A Dead Bug

  1. Start lying on your back, core activated to press your lower back into the mat.
  2. Lift your knees to form a 90-degree angle (knees stacked on top of hips), and extend your hands straight overhead.
  3. Contract your ab muscles as you extend your right arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your left leg. Return to the starting position.
  4. Then extend your left arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your right leg. Return to the starting position.

Modified Side Plank And Toe Touch

Targets: Obliques, transverse abs, upper abs and lower abs.

woman performing a modified side plank and toe touch in an ab workout for beginners

How To Do A Modified Side Plank And Optional Toe Touch

  1. Start in a modified side plank or knee down side plank. Place your right forearm on the mat, right shoulder stacked over right elbow and right knee on the ground with left leg and arm extended long.
  2. Option to hold this knee down side plank position. Engage your core and obliques, and lift your hips.
  3. Option to add a toe touch by pulling your left toe towards your left hand; they should meet near shoulder height.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Rolling Plank

Targets: The entire core from head to toe including deep transverse abs, upper abs, lower abs and lower back.

This rolling plank strengthens every core muscle, gives you a stronger low back, and teaches you how to scale from a beginner plank to a forearm plank on your toes.

woman performing a rolling plank in a beginner ab workout for a strong core

How To Do A Rolling Plank

  1. Start in a beginner plank on your knees — forearms on the mat, shoulders stacked over elbows, both knees on the mat and toes connected to the mat. Straight line from head to tailbone.
  2. Lift your right knee off the mat, straightening through your right leg. Then lift your left knee off the mat.
  3. Hold the forearm plank, both legs extended on toes for a moment; then slowly return one knee to the mat at a time.
  4. Continue this ‘rolling knee’ plank pattern.

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