- Home Workouts
The perfect ab workout for beginners or for anyone rebuilding abs after baby or after an abdominal surgery.
Strong core muscles are important for beginners and advanced athletes alike. A weak core requires other muscle groups to overcompensate and can often lead to injury; and most commonly low back pain.
Add these five ab exercises for beginners onto any strength training workout. I suggest doing this beginner core workout 1-3 times a week.
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.
None, just your bodyweight.
Follow along with the guided, beginner core workout workout video at the top of this post. I’ll lead you through all five beginner ab exercises, offering form cues, modifications and motivation.
It looks like this:
*Note, these 5 core exercises for beginners are safe for Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation after pregnancy) as long as you DO NOT see any coning or doming of the Abdominis. If you’re looking for more ab exercises to heal Diastasis Recti try these 8 Best Diastasis Recti Exercises.
Targets: Transverse abdomen (deep core muscles below your rectus abdomen or six pack ab muscles), lower abs and hip flexors.
TRAINER TIP: The closer your knees are to your chest the easier this ab exercise will be. And the farther your knees are from your chest, the harder this exercise will be. This is also true for exercise #2 below (dead bug).
How to do Lying Bent Knee Toe Taps:
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 neck and back stay resting on the mat throughout this exercise).
How to do the Dead Bug core exercise:
Targets: Obliques, transverse abs, upper abs and lower abs.
Perform the knee down side plank on both the right and left side of the body.
How to do Knee Down Side Plank with Optional Toe Touch:
Targets: The entire core from head to toe including — deep transverse abs, upper abs, lower abs, and lower back.
This ‘rolling knee’ plank strengthens EVERY core muscle, gives you a stronger low back, and teaches you how to scale from a beginner plank on knees to a forearm plank on toes.
How to do do a Beginner Plank on Knees to a Forearm Plank on Toes:
You should do ab and core workouts 3-4 times per week for best results.
By “sneaky”, I mean that we aren’t doing tons of crunches, but rather engaging our core in a variety of full body strength training movements and unilateral exercises (forcing your to engage your core as you focus on one side of the body at a time).
Every body (and every pregnancy) is so different. And I always recommend checking with your doctor or midwife if any exercises feel uncomfortable for you.
That said, YES this ab workout is safe for the first and second trimesters of pregnancy; as long as you are still comfortable lying on your back.
If you’re not comfortable lying on your back you an always substitute one of these pregnancy-safe ab exercises. I suggest:
YES! This is a great postpartum ab workout!
A good rule of thumb is to avoid any ab exercise that causes coning or doming of the midsection.
If you try this beginner ab workout and notice your abs coning (coming to a point), scale back to this Diastasis Recti Ab Workout.
On the other hand, if you can complete these 5 beginner ab exercises with ease, try scaling up to this 10-Minute Lower Ab Workout.