Best core exercises without equipment: 47 killer moves that will light up your abs and will challenge your full body. Check these out, and give them a try. Let's GO!
47 Best Core Exercises Without Equipment (Get Killer Abs!)
In this article, I have prepared for you a killer 37 core exercises that you can try instantly. No equipment needed, only your motivation to create your own abs workouts and give these a try. Enjoy your video and let me know what you think!
What Is The Core?
The core is a group of muscles that act as stabilizers and are crucial for athletic performance, balance and daily activities as well. The core consists of rectus abdominis (your front part of the core, or your 6-pack), External and Internal obliques (located in front and mostly on the sides of your torso), the internal are right below the external obliques.
Also, the mid-section consists of erector spinae muscles, Multifidus, Transverse abdominis and it also includes indirectly the hip-flexors, hip adductors, glutes and hamstrings as well.
As you can see, your core is not just your abs, and we will discuss this in the next chapter.
What Are The 5 Best Core Exercises?
The 5 best core exercises are planks (and all variations and intensity levels), crawling, hollow body holds, slide exercises, ab wheel rollouts and the classic abs exercises such as crunches, sit-ups etc. To get a complete core session, you need to first target your core muscles which will include everything from your hips to the chest (the whole mid-section).
This is your foundation, your core includes lots of muscles inside your body which are not visible. What you see, the front of your core is your 6-pack or rectus abdominis, and these are the ones which should be done as a finisher, or accessory work. To clarify, your 6 pack is just a small part of your whole core.
But to get a strong mid-section, you will have to train your whole core, not just your front ab muscles, otherwise, you will never get a functional core which performs well and serves you well.
What Is The Best Workout For Core Strength?
To get an effective core workout, you have to target your full core (obliques, abs and all muscles which are located deep right to the spine). These also work as stabilizers to the spine. The best core workout is the one that will target all of the mentioned above + will work your 6-pack specifically at the end of your session. Let me explain.
If you include multiple plank variations, followed by crawling or any other dynamic movement which will target your whole core, then as a finisher, it is highly recommended to perform regular crunches, sit-ups and other ab exercises which will work for the visible part of your core, which as mentioned is the rectus abdominis.
You can explain to yourself this in a very easy way. Your core work is like your basic weightlifting movest (deadlift, squat or bench). So this is what places the foundation. The abs work is the accessory, finisher work, which can be considered as your biceps curls. So deadlifts/core is your foundation, biceps curl/abs work is your accessory work. You cannot build big biceps just with deadlifts, right? You will have to perform some biceps curls to gain your arm size. It is completely the same, your core is the basic, and your 6-pack is the visible part which you should also target.
This way, you will equally work on your strength and performance and as a finisher, you will invest some efforts on the visible muscles which make a difference in how your body looks. And let's be honest, nobody likes a dude who is a fitness addict but has a belly or is not focusing on his mid-section work. Fitness is to develop your whole body so it can work as a whole unit, perform well and move without pains.
I am sharing this with you because I want us to be clear on one thing: you will not get shredded abs by doing only core exercises NOR if you only do ab exercises. Period. You need both and there is no reason why should you limit yourself with just one of these.
How Can I Build My Core Strength Fast?
To get a strong core fast, you need to stimulate it frequently. And by saying that, I mean at least 5 days a week. There is no other way of how to get strong mid-section fast.
Also, sleep well and eat more carbs. That's right when your goal is to build strength, you need fuel. And it's no lie that the king of performance of all macronutrients are the carbohydrates. This would be rice, potatoes, oats and pasta. Some fruits here and there will never harm you as well.
Disclaimer: developing core strength is a completely different scenario of the goal of having visible and shredded abs. Sure, when your mid-section gets stronger, your abs will start to somehow get visible, but if this is your ultimate goal, then your diet is the absolute must and what you should be focused on. You will have to be in a caloric deficit if you want your 6-pack to get visible and to impress people with your fit frame or physique.
How Often To Do Core Workouts?
To get an effective core workout plan, you will need to stimulate your mid-section frequently. Otherwise, somewhere between 3 and 5 sessions weekly will work great for you. However, keep in mind that normally the core exercises are highly neurologically demanding (harder than the ab sessions) and will drain additionally the arms, legs and back as well.
So if you are already familiar with fitness and follow a training program, it would be great to pursue a balance. Otherwise said, you need a balance between the torso workouts, ab routines and your regular fitness sessions as well. Here is what I would advice you here:
Include 3 torso, hard workouts weekly as a stand-alone session, or as finishers to your fitness routines. Make sure to give it all out with these torso exercises so you can get results faster.
Include 2-3 ab specific routines that will include leg raise, crunch, sit-ups and other moves that will target your abdominal muscles. Perform your movements slowly, so you can really tighten the muscle and feel the contraction. This advice is the game-changer, make sure to follow it and you will never regret.
Can I Do Core Exercises Everyday?
You can train your torso everyday. However, 1 day per week of complete rest will work great because the core exercises are highly demanding and if you push the pedal hard, your body will get drained. This will decrease your training performance and it will do more harm than good to you. Avoid that, rest 1 day and stimulate your core 6 times per week. This way, you will achieve a good torso stimulation, you will get a strong core and improve how your abdominal muscle looks in the mirror.
Working out core should be adopted as part of your training program and lifestyle in general. See, if you want fast results, you can get these in a short period. But what will totally make the difference over a long-term will be your consistency, not how fast you will get stronger torso.
Best Core Exercises For Beginners
The best beginner core exercises will be the basic ones such as planks, crunches, sit-ups, leg raise, mountain climbers etc. As a beginner in fitness, you will definitely want to focus hard on core workouts and multiple ab exercises. Also, you need to improve your cardio and endurance so the strength workouts can become easier over time. This is the reason of why I do advise you to combine 2-3 ab exercises into small circuits.
This way you will not just work on your mid-section but will improve the overall energy systems. This is a win-win scenario and will definitely improve your fitness because the core is playing a brutal role in your balance, stability, arm, leg strength and overall performance. Also, if you experience lower back pain, then strengthening the core muscles will be the absolute winner for you!
Best Core Exercises For Low-Back Pain
Lower back pain is a very often condition seen in more and more people around the globe. It is proven that lower back pain can be reduced by strengthening the core instead of implementing lower back pain physical therapy. Here is another research that will prove this. Now let's get to the point, what exercises to include so you can decrease the low back suffering?
Start easy and with less dynamic exercises. This will include regular and side planks plus a hollow body hold. The hollow body hold is a gymnastic, isometric core exercise that will absolutely transform your mid-section. Here are two videos to get the idea: hollow body holds , hollow body hold.
To get the fastest results, implement these torso moves 3-5 times per week. In just a few weeks or less, you will notice a big decrease in low back discomfort and your life will get a lot better.
To take things even further, here is how to structure such routine (I will focus on the beginners only):
Perform 4-6 rounds of the following exercises:
Hollow body hold (or an easier progression)
Side plank (left)
Hollow body hold (or an easier progression)
Side plank (right)
Hollow body hold (or an easier progression)
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 20-30 seconds of rest. You will have to move through each of these until the first round is finished. Once you're done, rest 90-120 seconds (rest between rounds) and move to the second round and so on until your session is over.
To complete that in the most convenient way, download an interval timer app on your phone so you can know when to work and rest without being overwhelmed or focused on the stopwatch. It's much easier this way.
To properly perform the plank, your starting plank position is on the elbows (use yoga mat or something soft to avoid hurting the elbows), keep legs together and straight. If you cannot hold this for 30 seconds, perform the bent plank where you have to keep the knees bent. This way, the intensity of the torso will decrease and you will manage to maintain the position for longer periods of time.
Performing the hollow body hold is no difficulty. Starting position: Lie on the floor (again, use a yoga mat), legs are straight, slightly lifted from the ground, and arms are also extended. Keep the knee, elbow straight and arms extended. Low back is flat on the ground.
By following this simple yet highly effective routine, your core muscles will be highly engaged and once these get stronger, your lower back will get isolated and the core will take most of the tension through daily movements or any physical performance.
Keep in mind that core muscles can be overtrained and overfatigued. If you experience such moment, don't hesitate to get a full rest day. This way, you will manage to even increase your performance on the followed day.
Also, the plank is a great core exercise, which is also a low impact move that will spare your joints. Additionally, your upper back will get targeted, shoulders will also get involved and in general, your upper body will get stronger.
Do Core Exercises Reduce Belly Fat?
Yes, you can lose belly fat with just core exercises. Spot reduction can be achieved if consistency and the right intensity are both being properly met. When your torso gets stronger, you will build more muscle. When that happens, the fat will start to go away and the abs will become more and more visible.
To reduce your belly fat fast, workout the core more frequently and if possible, eat less, and be in a caloric deficit. Also, sleep well to decrease the stress released hormones and also, to push your body producing the right anabolic hormones which will help the muscle-building process and weight loss as well.
What Aditional Exercises Strengthen Your Core?
Find below a list with a couple of great core exercises which you can try at home:
Slide Training - here you can use regular towels as your main sliders. Use a wooden or tiled floor or any surface that will allow the towels to slide. Pick a couple of exercises from this video, based on your training level and perform each for 30-45 seconds for each, followed by 30 or 15 seconds of rest. 4-6 sets per exercise and you will be done. These moves will absolutely level up your torso game, pelvis movement, shoulder health, stability, balance, and abdominals strength. Some of these can be a bit more advanced for the beginner, so you will have to search through the video which moves you can do. Once done, perform these routines while keeping the time frame from above. Also, it's a full-body challenge, so it worths the try.
Ab Rollouts - follow the recommendations by Jeff Cavaliere.
Crawling - crawling is one of the most functional and natural movements. Most of these will challenge your torso, shoulders, upper back, mid-section and will also help you burn lots of calories!
How To Use These 37 Best Core Exercises For Men? Next Steps
Let's get to the point. How to use these 37 exercises in order to get a complete ab workout?
Pick 5-6 exercises which you can perform, based on your fitness level. Perform each for 4-5 sets. Beginner time intervals: 30 seconds of work / 20 seconds of rest. Intermediate level: 45 seconds of work / 15 seconds of rest. Rest between moves: 90 seconds.
Follow this frame and you will get an outstanding torso workout every single time!
Today I have introduced you to 37 torso exercises for men. We have discussed multiple topics related to core strength and how it'll going to benefit your life.
Follow the recommendations from the chapter above of how to build a killer ab workout for yourself. Even if you are a complete beginner. I hope that these creative planks and crawling variations will help you toward your fitness journey.
What comes now?
Try some of the best 37 core exercises for men and let me know what you think!
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To Your FIT.ter Self.