The Best Core Exercises For Beginners

By |2016-12-14T19:39:35+00:00May 7th, 2014|Core Training, Fundamentals|

The most important thing you can do as a beginner is to start practicing movements and skills, which will lead you to higher and more complex skills along the way. Most people are ignorant of this fact and start training only with exercises that might be good for their level, but they don’t necessarily progress to higher variations.

The problem with this approach is that when these people reach the intermediate level, they will have to search for new exercises and most often than not, they will have to train with the beginner variations of that exercise. I made that mistake myself, but you don’t have to.

Below are some exercises that lead to more advanced progressions along the way. I consider them the best for beginners because they are not so difficult to perform and they can lead you to some very challenging and awesome skills. Keep in mind that you can still practice basic core exercises (like crunches, toe reaches, etc), but you should include some of the exercises below in your program, so that you can later move on to more difficult movements.

Best Core Exercise #1: Lying Leg Raises

This movement leads to the hanging leg raise and helps with the dragon flag. If you are a total beginner you can train with your knees bend. Before going to the hanging leg raise or the dragon flag, you should be able to do 3×20 reps with good form.

Best Core Exercise #2: The Plank

This exercise helps with the push ups and wheel roll outs. In the beginning, you can practice in the push up position. Try to apply maximum tension in your core for the whole period of time. You can increase the difficulty by trying single limb variations like one-arm-one-leg plank.

Best Core Exercise #3: Hip Bridge

This exercise leads to the full bridge and can be loaded by practicing with single leg variations. Aim for 3×20 reps before moving to more advanced bridge progressions.

Best Core Exercise #4: Hollow Body Position

This exercise helps with the dragon flag, V-ups, handstand and many other skills. Progress to V-ups progressions once you can hold the position for 3×60 seconds.

Best Core Exercise #5: Knee Wheel Roll Outs

The knee wheel roll outs is not an exercise for complete beginners. You should be able to do at least 30 push ups with proper form before attempting this exercise.

Putting the exercises together

In the beginning, I recommend you to choose one advanced exercise for the abdominal muscles, that you would like to achieve and then structure two routines that you alternate every other day. In the first routine, focus on exercises that directly lead to your goal. In the second one, you can have some movements that strengthen your core but are not directly related to the skill you aim.

Sample routine A:

A1. 10-20 Lying leg raises
A2. 10-20 Hip bridges
A3. 30 seconds/side Side plank

Sample routine B:

B1. 60 s Hollow body position
B2. 10-20 Hip bridges/ other exercises
B3. 30 s/side Side plank


  • Go from 1-3 without any break. That is one round.
  • Do 3-5 rounds with 30-90 seconds rest in between.
  • Train 3-4 times/ week alternating between A and B.

Other exercises you can add to your routines:

For a more detailed guide to advanced core exercises, you can download my free report.

If you have any questions in regards to any of the exercises presented in this post, feel free to comment bellow.



Photo: Plank Partners