It is tempting to see muscle-packed six-pack abs. Why not? Because abs are one of the crucial muscles of the upper body and really add definition to your entire physique. Solid abdominal muscles provide stability for your spine and maximize your compound liftings. But, can beginners do abs workouts?
I’ve tried to find the exact answer to this question, but there’s nothing relevant available on research sites, such as the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Google Scholar.
However, I gather some information from various credible health and fitness websites on this query. I’ll also share my thoughts based on my experience that will help you decide should you train abs as a beginner or not.
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Can Beginners do Abs Workout?
Various popular websites haven’t directly suggested that beginners should do abs workouts or not. Still, they have shared numerous core exercises for newbies that indicate you can train your abs as a beginner.
Here’s my thought – I also say you can train your abs if you recently decided to get fit, whether you’re a teenager or in your forties. However, you should avoid a few exercises in the beginning to protect your spine and lower back, such as crunches, situps, incline crunches, and Russian twists.
If you want to forge your midsection and thicken your rectus abdominish, you should focus on various compound and isolation exercises.
Compound exercises are heavy lifts that hit multiple muscles simultaneously, while isolation workouts allow you to focus on specific muscles. The combination of both kinds of exercise is crucial for achieving ultimate strength.
The best compound workouts that engage your core muscles efficiently are barbell squats, barbell deadlifts, bench press, standing overhead press, and barbell bent-over row.
Below, I’ve shared the best isolation abs workout.
5 Best Abs Workout for Beginners at Home and Gym
- Mountain Climber
- Flutter Kicks
- Hanging Knee Raise
- Dead Bug
1. Mountain Climber
Mountain climber is one of the best core exercises. It doesn’t only strengthen and tones abdominal muscles but also burns quick calories and gives you a good warm-up.
How to perform:
- Place your hands and toes on the ground and get into a high plank position with your arms straight below your shoulders. That’s the start.
- Bring your knees inside toward your chest alternatively at a moderate pace. Do it for 10 to 15 seconds.
- You’ll feel the work in your core.
Plank is an isometric core workout. It is suitable for all fitness enthusiasts, whether you’re lean or overweight, beginner or pro.
The plank has various types, such as forearm plank and knee-to-elbow plank. They harden your core muscles and help build thicker abs.
As a beginner, you should primarily do the forearm and side plank.
Forearm plank work on the rectus abdominish, and the side plank target the internal and external oblique.
3. Flutter Kicks
Flutter kick is one of the core strengthening exercises for beginners. It works primarily on the lower abs and helps build a sturdy core.
To perform flutter kicks, lie on the floor with your legs straight and arms beside your hips. Lift your legs a few inches off the floor. That’s the start. Keeping your core still, raise your legs up and down alternatively in a fluttering movement. Perform for 10 to 15 seconds.
4. Hanging Knee Raise
The hanging knee raise is one of the easier pull-up bar abs workouts; even a beginner can do it. I’ve included it in this list because it provides multiple benefits. For example, it solidifies your core, improves grip strength, and scales up your pullups.
To perform this movement, hang onto the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms straight, brace your abdominal muscle, and bring your knees up as high as possible.
It may be challenging at first, but once you perform three to four times, you’ll be better at it.
5. Dead Bug
The dead bug is one of the fundamental core exercises. It works on entire core muscles effectively, including the spinal erectors and transverse abdominis, and helps build a muscular core.
To perform a dead bug exercise:
- Lie on the mat with your face up.
- Bend your knees in front of you with your heels facing forward.
- Keep your arms straight over your shoulders and maintain a tight core. That’s the start.
- Keeping your right leg and left arm still, extend your left leg forward and right knee back until they are straight.
- And as you bring them to the start, extend your opposite leg and arm, and keep doing it for 10 to 15 seconds.
How often should beginners train abs?
You can do isolation abs workouts once a week, primarily after strength training. And as I said earlier, you should focus more on compound movements at the beginning of your fitness journey because they are effective for strength and muscle growth.
Also read: What’s The Best Time To Workout Abs?
You can do abs exercises as a beginner. Strengthening the core muscle is crucial as it provides stability for your lower back, increases lifting performance, and helps expose six-pack ab muscles. However, you should avoid a few exercises that are strenuous on your lower back.
The best exercises you can do to strengthen your core are compound liftings, such as the squat, deadlift, bench press, and standing overhead press. Additionally, you can do some specific core strengthening exercises, such as mountain climbing, plank, and dead bug to isolate your abdominal muscles. The combination of both isolation and compound movements will help you enhance your overall core over time.
Once you improve your fitness, you can incorporate more abs workouts to maximize core strength.