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Fitness Newbie? This Easy At-Home Core Workout Plan Gets You Going!

Posted: April 30, 2021

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Staying home but keen on working on your fitness? Here’s a beginner-friendly core workout plan, that doesn’t need you to buy equipment!

This is a beginner-friendly core workout plan with easy, yet effective moves. Try these 12 moves to activate and engage all the muscles of your core.

Each move of this core workout plan is to be repeated 10 times with a rest period of 15 seconds between them. Once you finish the entire sequence, repeat one more time to get the maximum benefits.

12 moves, 10 times each, repeat 2x times.

(Editor’s Note, all such guidance should be customised and adjusted to your current level of fitness and any existing health conditions.)

12-Step At-Home Core Workout Plan

Pelvic Tilts

I always use this move to connect with the muscles of my back. This also releases the tension that I end up holding in my lower back after a long day. The floor is the best place to start practising this, but eventually you can do it seated or standing too.

Technique

Lie on your back with your palms placed on the floor next to you. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor, around hip-width apart.

Now slowly, as you inhale, focus on tilting your pelvis forward, arching your back as much as possible. Imagine trying to create space so that you can easily place your hand underneath. This is where you would feel your abdominal muscles starting to stretch.

Next, slowly exhale and tilt your pelvic backwards, flattening your back to the floor. Imagine you need to take a xerox of your back. Your entire back should be touching the floor for that. This is where you feel a crunch in your abs as you try moving your belly button towards your spine.

Side knee drops

This move helps to stretch the front of your thighs as well as your sides or oblique muscles. Start with the dynamic moves and once you do a couple of them, you might observe that one side is a bit stiffer than the other. Be gentle with yourself and hold that posture for extra breaths, till the muscles relax.

Technique

Lie on your back with your arms stretched out or bent with the palms under your head. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor, around hip-width apart.

Now slowly as you exhale, drop both the knees towards your right. Try to lower both the knees as close to the floor as possible. You should feel a nice stretch on the left thigh and also on the left side and back.

Avoid lifting your left shoulder from the floor and if you feel comfortable, slowly turn your neck towards the left.
As you inhale, come back to the centre and repeat on the other side.

Glute bridges

This move is great to activate your hamstrings, abdominals and your glute muscles. In fact it works on most of the stabilising muscles of our back. It is like a variation of the plank, only that it works on the entire back, hips and hamstrings, the very key muscles of our core. Just make sure you challenge yourself to attain the best possible straight line and really squeeze the glutes (i.e, your butt) at the top position.

Technique

Lie on your back with your palms next to you.
Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor, around hip-width apart.
Flatten your back and then start raising your hips, till your knees, hips and shoulders are in one straight line.
Squeeze your glutes at the top position. Try engaging, and digging your heels and palms to the floor as you do it.
Hold and then gently come back to the starting position.

Alternate knee hugs and single leg raises

The alternate knee hugs increase the range of motion of the hamstrings, while providing a gentle stretch to the lower back muscles. The single leg raises work on activating the muscles of the lower abdominals, deep pelvic muscles and thighs. Please make sure that your lower back is imprinted on the floor (cue: flatten your back) to avoid any lower back strain.

Technique
Lie on your back with your palms next to you.
Bend your right knee and bring it as close to the chest as possible as you hug it.
Your left leg is stretched straight on the floor.
Keeping your back flat, slowing raise the left leg as high as possible and gently lower it back.
Now hug your left knee and straighten out your right leg.
Repeat the same steps on the other side too.

Controlled side knee drops

This move works on sides or obliques. Be gentle with yourself and hold that posture for a few extra breaths at the controlled end position to really feel the obliques activated.

Technique
Lie on your back with your arms stretched out. Bend your knees, place your feet on the floor and join your knees together.
Now slowly as you exhale, lift your feet off the floor. Imagine a 90-degree angle at the knee and hip joints.
Now keeping your back flat, slowly drop both the knees to the right at 45 degree angle. Hold it for a few seconds. Avoid lifting your left shoulder from the floor.
As you inhale, come back to the centre and repeat on the other side.

Bicycle crunches

This is a very effective move that is all about the abs and the core. The two main areas of focus should be making sure your back is safe, and your neck travels along with your upper body and does not take too much of strain.

Technique
Lie on your back with your arms bent with the palms under your head. Bend your right knee and place your feet on the floor, keeping the left leg straight on floor.
Now slowly as you exhale, lift your left shoulder off the floor and try touching it to the right knee. Hold for a few seconds and come back to centre. Repeat with the other side.

Dynamic reverse table top

A move similar to the glute bridge, but this one works on the arms too. Just make sure you challenge yourself to attain the best possible straight line and really squeeze the glutes at the top position.

Technique
Sit on the floor and bend your knees, placing your feet hip width apart on the floor.
Place your wrists directly under your shoulders. The palms can either face the feet or away from them depending on your you feel at the shoulder joint.
Now as you exhale, push against your feet and palms, and slowly raise your hips till your knees, hips and shoulders are in one straight line.
Hold the top position for a few seconds and slowly come back to the starting position.
Repeat.

Dynamic forward bends with 45-degree core

Stretch your back and hamstring dynamically and then contract the core to hold the 45-degree position. It sure sets your core on fire once you finish the reps!

Technique
Sit upright on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.
Now slowly as you exhale, lean forward at your hips and try bringing your chest as close to your thighs as possible as you stretch out your arms in front of you.
Pulse a few times at the end to feel the hamstrings and back stretching a little extra.
Now lean back to a point where your upper body makes a 135 degree at the hips. Or 45 degree with the floor behind you.
Hold it for a few seconds and repeat.

Side lying single leg raises (Right and Left)

Side leg raises target the muscles of the core on the sides. This is a very simple yet effective move if done correctly. Finish off the reps on one side and then move to the other side.

Technique
Lie on your left side and align your body so the the hips are stacked one over the other and the heels, knees, hips and shoulders are in one straight line.
The left hand can be stretched and your head can rest on it.
You can bend the right hand and place it front of your body for support.
Now slowly raise the right leg as high as possible, hold it for a few seconds and slowly bring it back to the floor.
Repeat.

Dynamic Superman

Stretch the entire front part of body and activate the your back from neck to heel with this one move. For all of us spending most of our times slouched in front of electronics, this move is a blessing in keeping our postural muscles active and supple.

Technique
Lie down on your abdomen and stretch your arms overhead, keeping your legs hip-width apart.
Keep your neck neutral as you slowly inhale, and raise your arms and knees off the floor.
Hold the top position for a few seconds as you contract your upper back, arms, hips and legs.
Slowly come back to the starting position. Repeat.

Dynamic flow – Child – Cobra – Twists

Three moves combine together to create this flow. Though it is a dynamic flow, you can choose to hold any one position in case you feel you need to give your body a little extra time to open up or stretch better.

Technique
Start in the all fours position, with your arms under your shoulder and your knees under your hips, and your back flat.
Now slowly sit back, so that your palms remain on the floor and the hips slowly move towards the heels. This is the Child’s pose. If you need, you can spread out your knees. This creates extra space for your abdomen to relax and provides a better stretch to your upper and lower back.
Now slowly come back to neutral position and get into the Cobra pose.

The arms are under the shoulders, the legs are stretched out straight and your upper body stretches to form the pose of the cobra raising its hood. Focus on not slouching at the shoulders and also, squeeze the shoulder blades to feel the stretch in your chest and your abdomen.
From here slowly exhale and twist.
Try looking over your shoulder alternatively. This move stretches our obliques along with your chest and abs.
Slowly relax and come back to the Child’s Pose and repeat.

This at-home core workout plan will help you keep exercising and stay strong at home!

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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A single parent, a software engineer, a content writer, a fitness trainer, a yoga practitioner,

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