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6 Beginner Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Entire Core

Your core is the powerhouse behind every move you make, making core strength crucial for a healthy, active life. In just 10 minutes, you can give back to the muscles that support you with this efficient workout that targets your entire core.

10-Minute Core Workout

Fitness enthusiasts consistently stress the significance of core strength, and for good reason. The core plays a role in virtually every movement, whether you're in the gym or enjoying daily activities.

Beyond sculpting a six-pack, your core encompasses muscles in the buttocks, hips, upper and middle back, and around the spine. To truly fortify your core, you need exercises that challenge all these vital muscle groups. Check out the six dynamic moves below to engage and strengthen your entire core that most any beginner can do.

How to Do This 10-Minute Core Workout

To establish a robust foundation for your body, incorporate these six core exercises into your weekly routine on non-consecutive days. Alternatively, pick three or four moves to add to the end of a walk or other cardio workout.

Take it at your own pace, focusing on form and engaging your core muscles. The entire sequence should take just over four minutes, so do two rounds to hit the 10-minute mark.

As always, prioritize safety. Seek your doctor's approval before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have a chronic condition, balance issues, or injuries.

What you need:

  • Space to move

  • Comfortable clothing

  • Pair of light dumbbells or kettlebells (optional)

  • Sturdy chair for support (if needed)

  • Water to sip, as needed

Tip: You can do the two floor exercises on a firm mattress if that's more comfortable for you.

Exercise #1: Farmer’s Carry

How to do it:

  • Hold a light to moderate weight in each hand (or two small bags of groceries).

  • Walk for 10 to 15 feet with the weight at your sides, keeping your shoulders square and upright.

  • Set the weights down, turn around, pick them up, and carry them back. That’s 1 rep.

  • Do 3 reps.

Exercise #2: Standing Knee Driver

How to do it:

  • Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart and your arms bent at about a 90-degree angle at your sides.

  • Shift your weight onto your right foot and hinge at the hips to bring your upper body forward slightly.

  • Keeping your chest up, step back with your left foot to tap your toes on the floor behind you.

  • Then drive your left knee forward in front of you.

  • Continue bringing your left foot back and then driving your left knee forward.

  • Once you're comfortable, pump your arms back and forth at the same time.

  • Continue for 15–30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat on your right side.

Exercise #3: Modified Bird Dog Standing

How to do it:

  • Stand facing the back of a sturdy chair, keeping both hands on the chair.

  • Keep your neck and spine straight and knees slightly bent.

  • Brace your abdominals and lift one arm and opposite leg until they’re in line with your spine.

  • Pause, then return your hand and foot to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.

  • Do 5 reps. Switch sides and perform 5 reps with the opposite arm and leg.

  • Repeat 2 to 3 more times with each side.

Exercise #4: Fake Side to Side Throw

How to do it:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.

  • Hold a small weight in front of your chest with two hands, arms fully extended. If you have any shoulder issues, use a book, water bottle, soup can — or your own body weight.

  • Tighten your abdominals and twist your torso to one side; pretend like you're going to pass the weight to someone beside you.

  • Keep your feet glued to the floor.

  • Twist your torso to push the weight back to center. That’s 1 rep.

  • Do 10 to 15 reps to one side before repeating on the other.

Exercise #5: McGill Curl Up

This exercise was designed by a renowned spinal researcher, Stuart McGill, Ph.D., who created the move as an alternative to crunches for those who have lower-back concerns.

How to do it:

  • Lie flat on your back on the floor with one leg extended straight out in front of you and the other bent with foot flat on the floor. (You can also do this move on a firm mattress.)

  • Place your hands, palms down, on the floor underneath your low back, and raise your elbows just off the floor.

  • From here, squeeze your abs to raise your head and shoulders a few inches off the floor.

  • Hold for five seconds or as long as you can while maintaining good form, then slowly return to start.

  • Perform 8 to 10 reps, then repeat with the opposite leg extended.

Exercise #6: Half Dead Bug for Lower Abs

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

  • Raise your bent legs up so that your knees are stacked over your hips, keeping a 90-degree bend in your knees.

  • Brace your core to press your low back into the floor; make sure to maintain this flat-back position throughout the entire exercise.

  • With your palms facing each other, bring arms up to point toward the ceiling.

  • Without moving your arms, straighten your left leg and bring it toward the floor (try not to let it touch).

  • Pause, then bring your leg back to the starting position.

  • Repeat on the opposite side with your right leg.

  • Continue alternating legs for 15–30 seconds, or as long as you can maintain good form.

Now that you have these six transformative core exercises in your fitness arsenal, it's time to take your wellness journey to the next level. At Gold Pointe Fitness Club, we understand the importance of a strong core for a vibrant, active life. Our supportive community and helpful staff are here to guide you on your path to a healthier you. Elevate your fitness experience by becoming a member today! Join us at Gold Pointe Fitness Club and discover a world where every workout brings you closer to your fitness goals. Embrace the strength within, sign up now, and let's embark on this empowering journey together! 💪

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