Best Core Exercises at Home or Gym for Beginners

Building a strong core is not only essential for achieving a chiseled midsection but also for maintaining overall physical health and stability. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just getting started on your fitness journey, incorporating core exercises into your routine is a great way to enhance your strength and balance.

You can do core exercises from the comfort of your own home and also at the gym. In this article, we’ll explore the best core exercises for beginners; both men and women to kickstart their journey to a stronger and more stable core.

What Are Core Muscles?

Core refers to the muscles around our trunk and pelvis i.e. the abs, chest, back and down to the pelvic floor. Our functional movements are highly dependent on this part of the body. Lack of strength in these areas, affects our stability. Core stability is very important to protect our spine and surrounding musculature from injury.

Why Is Core Training Important?

Core muscles are important as they serve as a base for strength, power, endurance and coordination. Attaining core strength means acquiring proper posture and saving the back from injuries while doing rapid movements or while lifting weights.

In order to evaluate our core strength, we must check our static core strength, dynamic core strength and posterior core strength. Exercises like plank, side plank helps to understand the static core strength while the knees to chest and toes to bar, hanging leg raises analyses the dynamic core strength. The dead lifts are for the posterior core stability.

Top 8 Core Workouts At Home Or Gym For Strong Abs

1. Planks

The plank is a fundamental core exercise that targets your entire core, including your abdominals, obliques, and lower back. Plank helps to develop strength in the core, shoulders and arms. Here’s how to do it:

Do Plank at home for strong core muscles
Do Plank at home for strong core muscles
  • Start in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line.
  • Engage your core muscles and hold this position for as long as you can.
  • Aim for 30 seconds to start and gradually increase your time as you get stronger.

2. Side Planks

Side planks are great for strengthening the obliques and improving overall core stability. Here’s how to do them:

Girl doing side planks
Girl doing side planks
  • Start by lying on your side with your legs straight and your feet stacked on top of each other.
  • Place your elbow directly beneath your shoulder, forming a 90-degree angle with your forearm.
  • Engage your core and lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can, maintaining proper form.
  • Repeat on the other side.

3. Russian Twists

Russian twists are great for targeting your obliques. Here’s how to perform them:

man doing Russian twists with weights
Russian twists with weights
  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground, balancing on your sit bones.
  • Hold a weight or a household object (like a water bottle) with both hands.
  • Twist your torso to one side, bringing the weight towards the ground beside your hip.
  • Return to the center and twist to the other side.

4. Leg Raises

Leg raises are excellent for working the lower abdominal muscles. Here’s how to do them:

Leg raises on mat
Leg raises on mat
  • Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and your arms by your sides.
  • Keep your lower back pressed into the floor as you lift your legs off the ground.
  • Slowly lower your legs back down without letting them touch the ground.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

5. Crunches

Crunches are a fantastic exercise to target your upper abdominal muscles. Here’s how to do them:

Crunches for a strong core
Crunches for a strong core
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands gently behind your head, without pulling on your neck.
  • Engage your core and lift your head, shoulders, and upper back off the ground.
  • Exhale as you perform the crunch.
  • Lower your upper body back down without fully resting your head on the ground.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

6. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches engage both your upper and lower abs while also working your obliques. Here’s how to perform them:

Bicycle crunches for obliques
Bicycle crunches for obliques
  • Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent.
  • Lift your head, shoulders, and upper back off the ground.
  • Bring your right elbow towards your left knee while straightening your right leg.
  • Switch sides, bringing your left elbow towards your right knee in a pedaling motion.

7. Superman

The Superman exercise strengthens your lower back muscles and complements your core workout. Here’s how to do it:

Woman doing superman exercise
Woman doing superman exercise
  • Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended in front of you and your legs straight.
  • Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground simultaneously, engaging your lower back.
  • Hold the position briefly before lowering back down.

8. Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are excellent for targeting both your lower abdominal muscles and hip flexors. To do them, you’ll need a pull-up bar or a sturdy horizontal surface that can support your body weight, like a set of parallel bars.

Here’s how to perform hanging leg raises:

Woman doing leg raises
Woman doing leg raises
  • Find a sturdy horizontal surface, such as a pull-up bar, and hang from it with your arms fully extended.
  • Engage your core and keep your legs together.
  • While maintaining control, lift your legs straight up in front of you, trying to reach a 90-degree angle with your upper body.
  • Lower your legs back down to the starting position without swinging.

4. Deadlifts

Deadlifts are a compound exercise that can help strengthen your entire body, including your core. Here’s how to perform them:

Dead lift with barbells
Dead lift with barbells

Equipment Needed: A barbell or dumbbells (adjustable weights), and if available, a weightlifting belt for added lower back support.


  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with the barbell or dumbbells placed in front of you.
  • Bend at your hips and knees to lower yourself down to the weights. Maintain a neutral spine and keep your chest up.
  • Grip the barbell or dumbbells with both hands, using an overhand grip (palms facing you) or a mixed grip (one palm facing you, one palm facing away).
  • Engage your core and begin to lift the weights by extending your hips and knees simultaneously. Keep the weights close to your body as you stand up.
  • Stand fully upright with your shoulders back, maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Lower the weights back to the ground with controlled movement, keeping your core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
However, it is very important to correct our postures while training ourselves with the above mentioned core exercises. There are many professional personal trainers in Singapore who can train the correct form and guide us to attain the stronger self.
So without any more delay, let’s focus on building core stability first and then, proceed to build our core strength!

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