Beginner core workout: no equipment needed

Strengthening your core is essential for overall fitness and plays a vital role in supporting your body’s stability and movement. Whether you’re a beginner just starting your fitness journey or someone looking for a convenient workout option at home in your living room, at the park or in the gym, this core workout is perfect for you.

By focusing on exercises that target your abdominal muscles, obliques and lower back, you can improve your posture, enhance athletic performance and prevent low back pain. 

The best part for this is that you won’t need any fancy equipment or a gym membership to get started. These exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home.

woman doing mountain climbers in the park. they are a great beginner no equipment core exercise

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Core muscle group

Your core muscles are the foundation of your body’s strength and stability. While many people think of the “core” as just their abs, this muscle group includes a variety of muscles throughout your torso and hips. Some of the key muscles that make up your core include:

  • Rectus abdominis: These muscles are commonly known as the “six-pack.” They run vertically down the front of your abdomen and help flex your spine.
  • Obliques: These muscles are located on the sides of your abdomen and help you rotate and twist your torso.
  • Transverse abdominis: This muscle is located deep in your abdomen and helps stabilize your spine and pelvis.
  • Erector spinae: These muscles run along your spine and help you maintain good posture.
  • Hip flexors: These muscles connect your pelvis to your thighs and are important for many movements, including walking and running.

Beginner core workout no equipment needed

You can improve a weak core through core training. This workout targets your core muscles without needing any equipment:

Bicycle crunch

Targets: Rectus abdominis, transverse abdominal muscles and obliques.

bicycle crunch no equipment core exercise
bicycle crunches no equipment core exercise
  • Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your hand and your legs extended
  • Lift your shoulder blades off the ground as you twist your upper body
  • Your left elbow should come towards your right knee and twist the opposite way for your right elbow to come towards your left knee.

Mountain Climbers

Targets: entire abdominal muscle group

beginner core no equipment
woman doing mountain climbers in the park. they are a great beginner no equipment core exercise
  • Start in a push-up position.
  • Bring your left knee toward your chest while extending your right leg behind you. 
  • Alternate legs quickly, as if you are running in place.
  • Keep your core engaged and your hips level. Avoid letting your butt stick up in the air or sagging your hips toward the ground. 

Russian Twist

Targets: All the muscles in your core, especially the rectus abdominis and obliques

woman doing russian twists in the park. they are a great beginner no equipment core exercise
Russian twists are a good Beginner core workout no equipment
  • Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. 
  • Lean back slightly, engage your core, and lift your feet off the ground. 
  • Twist your torso to the right and left keeping your core engage

Flutter kicks

Targets: The lower rectus abdominal muscles, plus the hip flexors

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended and your hands under the small of your back. 
  • Keep your legs straight and lift your feet a few inches off the ground, then kick them up and down in a scissor-like motion.
  • Keep your lower back pressed into the ground and your core engaged throughout the exercise. Avoid arching your back or letting your feet touch the ground.


Targets: Transverse abdomen, upper abs, lower abs and shoulders.

beginner core no equipment
  • Start in a table top position with shoulders stacked over wrists (soft bend in the elbows) and hips over knees.
  • Sstep both feet back and extend legs long, balancing on your toes. Pull up on your kneecaps and push back on your heels to keep your core engaged.
  • Hold this plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body.

Variations: Side plank, Up down planks and Plank dips

Dead bug

Targets: Transverse abdomen (deepest core muscles that wrap around your spine and sides), rectus abdominis and obliques 

dead bug no equipment core exercise
dead bugs no equipment core exercise
  • Lie flat on the mat, performing a slight pelvic tilt to press your lower back into the mat and drawing your belly button towards your spine. Think about wrapping your abdominal wall around your torso.
  • Then bring your legs up, knees bent at 90 degrees, shins parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight overhead, wrists stacked over shoulders.
  • Contract your ab muscles to engage your core as you extend your right arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your left leg. Return to the starting position.
  • Then extend your left arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your right leg. Return to the starting position and repeat.

High plank toe touches

Targets: Transverse abdomen (deep core muscles below your rectus abdomen or six pack ab muscles), lower abs and hip flexors.

beginner core no equipment
plank pikes core exercise
  • Get into the push-up or high plank position with your hands are shoulder-width apart and feet are hip-width apart
  • Keep your elbows directly under your shoulders and support yourself on the balls of your feet.
  • Lift your hips, shifting no part of your body. As you do this, stretch your right hand to touch the toes of your left leg. Do this while keeping your back straight.
  • Hold this position for one second and then return to the starting position. Reach out your left hand as you simultaneously bend your hips, repeating the entire process. 
  • Return to the starting position. 

You can add intensity by adding different forms of resistance including free weights, cable machines, medicine ball or ankle weights.

More core workouts

Looking for additional core exercises? Check out these resources for more variety:

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