Doing ab workouts offers all sorts of health benefits that extend beyond a toned tummy for summer. They actually help you to strengthen your entire core, which has a variety of health benefits. Read below for some beginner ab workouts you can do at home and what they can potentially do for your health.
Who Should Do Ab Exercises?
Ab exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders at the beach or serious athletes. They’re great for just about everyone. That’s because ab exercises strengthen your core.1
This central part of your body acts as a link between the lower and upper body. You use your abs and core all throughout the day. Even simple movements, like standing or bending over to tie your shoes, requires core strength.2
These are some common examples of people who might especially benefit from regular ab exercises:
- Professional athletes who want to improve overall performance.
- People who suffer from back pain from sitting at a desk all day.
- People who want to improve their posture.3,4
The Benefits Of Ab Exercises
Ab exercises are one of the best ways to strengthen your core. By building the muscles in this part of your body, you increase your power and stability. This strength also affects your overall health. Exercises for a strong core may help:
- Support good posture
- Support coordination and balance
- Support flexibility
- Support a healthy metabolism5
Plus, ab exercises help burn body fat and weight around the midsection. This is crucial to your health. In fact, one study showed that a slim waistline might even help support longevity.6
Ab Exercises: Easy To Do At Home
A strong core and abs don’t require a gym membership or fancy equipment. All you need for these easy ab exercises is a comfortable place to lie down. You can use a yoga mat or a towel. A carpeted area of the house works, too. Anywhere that you can get comfortable on the ground will work.
Beginner Ab Workouts For Home
All the exercises below can be done at home. They require very little time and almost no equipment. All you really need are a few spare minutes and a little determination. Just make sure to get your doctor’s approval before beginning any new exercise routine.
Sit-Ups Or Crunches
You probably remember these from middle school gym class. Sit-ups and crunches are classic methods for working out your abs. They are fairly simple and a great way to work your core and hip flexors.
- Lie on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground.
- Put your hands behind your head or neck.
- Use your hips and stomach to lift your body off the ground.
- For sit-ups, come all the way up to your knees. For crunches, only lift your body about a foot off the ground.
- Slowly lower your body back to the ground and repeat. Do 20-30 reps.7
Note: You can increase the difficulty and impact by holding onto a weight during sit-ups and crunches.
You don’t need a pool and a kickboard to get your flutter kicks in for the day. This is an easy and great ab exercise to do at home. It works out the rectus abdominis, which is the main ab muscle, as well as the side ab muscles.
- Lie on your back with your arms along your sides. Hands should be palm down.
- Extend your legs out.
- Lift your legs a few inches off the floor.
- Make tiny kicking motions with your legs up and down.
- Focus on your midsection and make sure it does a majority of the work. Kick for 15-20 seconds.8
This exercise is similar to flutter kicks. So, you can easily transition into this exercise or do it instead of flutter kicks. This ab exercise will work out your transverse abdominis to promote stability and potentially help with lower back pain.9
- Lie on your back with your arms along your side. Hands palm down.
- Bend your knees and bring them to your chest. Then, lift both legs straight up to the sky.
- Lower your left leg only towards the ground. Do it slowly to engage your core muscles. Stop and hold a few inches above the ground.
- Then, lift your left leg back up while you lower your right leg.
- Do 20-25 reps of this back and forth motion.10
This ab exercise engages lots of muscles as your body resists the pull of gravity. It’s especially great for developing your oblique muscles. And, it works your back and shoulders as well. It’s a little more challenging, but worth the extra effort.11
- Lie down on your back with your arms out to the side to form a “T.”
- Bring your legs up into the air. Keep them together so that your feet touch.
- Lower both your legs slowly to the right. Make sure your abs are braced and that your shoulders stay on the ground.
- Bring legs back to center. Then lower them to the left.
- Do as many reps as possible.12
A plank may look like a silly push-up frozen in time, but it is one of the best ways to strengthen your core. This deceptively easy exercise engages tons of muscles and strengthens your whole body. You will work out your transversus abdominis all the way to your glutes. All you have to do is hold the pose, which is sometimes easier said than done.13
- Lie face down on the ground.
- Lift yourself up onto your forearms. Make sure that your elbows are aligned underneath your shoulders. Your arms should be parallel.
- Extend your legs and hold your balance on the balls of your feet.
- Engage your abs and keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Hold this pose for 10-20 seconds.14
Take It Slow
These are beginner ab exercises, but that doesn’t mean that they are easy. As with any new exercise routine, it’s important to pace your new ab regimen. Set reasonable goals, and build up to more challenging poses, times, and repetitions.
This is particularly true for anyone who suffers from back issues. Some of these ab exercises could potentially exacerbate an existing condition. Always speak to your doctor before beginning any new exercises.
Beginner Exercises With Professional Results
If you find yourself with a few extra minutes today, bust out that yoga mat or a towel and try some new beginner ab workouts. It’s a great way to strengthen your core and potentially lose weight around the waistline.
Having a strong core is important because it affects your overall health and ability to do simple tasks. But, a strong core may also improve your ability to take on more complicated athletics at higher fitness levels. That’s why everyone can benefit from regular ab exercises.
Fortunately, there are all sorts of exercises that are quick and easy to do from home. So, spend a few minutes holding that plank pose or doing a few crunches. Your whole body will thank you for it.
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