You’ve likely heard a fitness instructor or personal trainer tell you to “engage your core” during exercise. There is no doubt, your core is very important. You need your core for everything, from getting out of bed in the morning to grabbing your groceries out of your car. If you’re looking to strengthen your core, we’ve got a beginners workout for you.

But first, what exactly is your core? Is it just your 6-pack of muscles? The core, in its simplest terms, is the midsection of the body that includes the front, back and side muscles of your body. The stronger your core is, the less likely you are to injure yourself. With a strong core, you can move more efficiently in your daily life by recruiting the proper muscles for movements. In addition, a strong core gives you a solid foundation for your workouts, regardless of if you are doing cardio or strength training.

Related: Pilates: The Cross Training Powerhouse Workout

Core training does not have to be complicated, and every person with a strong core was once a beginner. Here are 5 of my favorite core exercises that require no equipment and can be done in between Zoom calls or commercial breaks.

Core Workout For Beginners: Try These 5 Moves Today

Plank

Joy Miles Performing A Plank - Core Workout For Beginners

Start off in a push up position but place your forearms on the floor. Your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your forearms are facing forward. Your eye focus is at the floor.

Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending. This is the neutral spine position. Ensure your shoulders are down, not creeping up toward your ears. Your heels should be over the balls of your feet.

Hold this position for 15 seconds and then relax. Over time, work up to 30 seconds. If this becomes too easy, you can always come onto your hands into a full push up position, holding this position.

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Dead Bug

Joy Miles Performing A Dead Bug  - Core Workout For Beginners

Lie face up on your mat with your arms in the air above your torso and your legs in tabletop position. Reach and lower the opposite arm and extend your opposite leg towards the floor in a slow and controlled manner.  Return to center and then repeat on the other side.

Bird Dog

Joy Miles Performing Bird Dog - Core Workout For Beginners

Starting on your hands and knees, start by extending your right arm and left leg straight out in opposite directions. Focus on engaging your core to stay stable. Think of a hot cup of coffee sitting on your hips and another on your shoulder blades, and you can’t drop them. The slower the better.

Related: Download Our Free EBook With Three Workouts To Try At The Gym

The Pilates 100

Joy Miles Performing The Pilates 100 - Core Workout For Beginners

Lie on your back, bring your knees into a tabletop position. Lift head, neck and shoulders and reach the arms long, hovering over the mat. Start to inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts while pumping your arms up and down in a small range of motion.

To begin, start off with just 5 cycles and work up to 10 cycles.

The Roll Up

Joy Miles Performing The Roll Up - Core Workout For Beginners

Lie on your back with your legs extended out and together with feet flexed. Lift your arms up to the ceiling to begin. Slowly lift your head up as you roll up reaching towards your toes on the inhale and exhale as you roll down through your spine back to the start position.

If this is difficult, you can either have your legs bent or use a towel or band under your feet to assist you.

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Post written by FFC Pilates Trainer Joy Miles.