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5 Best Ab Workouts for Beginners

These workouts pave the road to a more defined and resilient core.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Embarking on your fitness journey to sculpt a strong core doesn't have to be overwhelming. For my beginner clients, I remind them that mastering the fundamentals is key to building a solid foundation for core strength. I recommend the below ab workouts for beginners; these routines are designed to be approachable yet challenging, providing a pathway to a more defined and resilient core.

Starting your ab workout journey as a beginner requires a focus on fundamental movements and gradual progress. These five ab workouts provide a versatile and accessible approach to building core strength. Remember to maintain proper form, listen to your body, and stay consistent for optimal results. With dedication and patience, you'll develop a strong foundation, setting the stage for more advanced ab workouts in the future.

Keep reading for the best ab workouts for beginners. And when you're finished working out, be sure to read the 5 Most Effective At-Home Workouts for Weight Loss.

Workout #1: Plank Perfection

The first of these ab workouts for beginners is all about planks. The plank is a quintessential ab exercise that not only targets the entire core but also engages your shoulders, back, and legs. Mastering the plank sets the stage for more advanced ab workouts.

1. Standard Planks

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Begin in a pushup position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core. Start with two sets, holding for 20 to 30 seconds, gradually increasing the duration.

2. Side Planks

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Lie on your side, supporting your upper body on one forearm. Lift your hips to create a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds on each side, aiming for two sets.

3. Plank with Shoulder Taps

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In a plank position, tap your left hand to your right shoulder, then your right hand to your left shoulder. Keep your hips stable throughout. Perform two sets of 10 taps on each side.

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Workout #2: Crunch Classics

Crunches are a staple in ab workouts, focusing on the upper abdominal muscles. For beginners, variations of this classic exercise provide an effective way to build strength without straining your neck.

1. Basic Crunches

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, and lift your shoulders off the ground. Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps, focusing on controlled movements.

2. Reverse Crunches

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Start in the same position as the basic crunch. Lift your legs toward the ceiling, then curl your hips off the ground. Aim for two sets of 12 to 15 reps, keeping your lower back pressed into the floor.

3. Bicycle Crunches

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Bring your left elbow toward your right knee while extending your left leg. Switch sides in a pedaling motion. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps per side.

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Workout #3: Leg Lift Legacies

Leg lifts are fantastic for targeting the lower abdominal muscles, contributing to a balanced core workout. Beginners can start with variations that offer a controlled challenge.

1. Leg Raises

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Lie on your back with your hands under your hips. Lift your legs toward the ceiling, then lower them without touching the ground. Begin with two sets of 10 to 12 reps, gradually increasing the reps as you progress.

2. Flutter Kicks

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Lie on your back with your legs extended. Lift one leg while lowering the other, alternating in a fluttering motion. Perform three sets of 20 to 30 seconds.

3. Scissor Kicks

Lie on your back with your legs lifted off the ground. Cross one leg over the other in a scissor motion. Aim for two sets of 15 to 20 reps per leg.

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Workout #4: Mountain Climbers Mayhem

Mountain climbers provide a dynamic workout that engages your entire core, making them an excellent choice for beginners looking to boost both strength and cardiovascular endurance.

1. Standard Mountain Climbers

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Begin in a plank position. Alternately bring your knees toward your chest in a running motion. Perform three sets of 20 to 30 seconds.

2. Cross-Body Mountain Climbers

This exercise is similar to standard mountain climbers, but you'll bring your right knee toward your left elbow. Alternate sides in a cross-body motion. Aim for two sets of 15 to 20 reps per side.

3. Slow-Motion Mountain Climbers

Perform standard mountain climbers, but focus on slow and controlled movements. Complete two sets of 12 to 15 reps per leg.

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Workout #5: Superman Showcase

The Superman exercise targets not only your core but also your lower back, promoting overall spinal stability.

1. Basic Superman

illustration of superman back extensions exercise
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Lie face down with your arms extended in front of you. Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground simultaneously. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, gradually increasing the duration for two sets.

2. Alternating Superman

Lie face down with your arms extended in front of you. Lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously, then switch. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps per side.

3. Superman Plank

Begin in a plank position. Lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously, then switch. Complete two sets of 10 reps per side.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler
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