The Best Ab Exercises For Beginners

The Best Ab Exercises For Beginners

Some people want to get six-pack abs, some people want to get stronger, and some people want to live a healthier life. But, I think it's fair to say that we all have goals.

I, for one, have a goal of getting bigger, stronger, and more athletic. At times, I've also had a goal to trim some fat and see my abs. However, I would be willing to bet that nearly everyone would like abs.

At the same time, it can be hard to know what to do to get them. This is especially true if you're just getting started.

Now, if you are just getting started ... It's cool to see you taking the first steps to reaching your goals and improving your fitness and health. It's important! You should also know that you can get visible abs.

The catch is, it's going to take some work. That's what I'm here to help with! Today, I'm going to give you the best ab exercises for beginners. I'll also help you understand just how important ab exercises can be.

After all, your abs aren't just there to help you look good with your shirt off. Your entire core has a whole bunch of muscles that help protect and stabilize your spine and body.

Let's take a look at the benefits ab exercises can have, and some good ab exercises for beginners. I'll even make sure to include everything you need to know to get abs and start earning great results today!

Ab Exercises for Beginners: What are the Benefits?

While these will be beginner ab exercises, they are still excellent for every fitness level. What makes them beginner exercises is that they are easy to understand and do. On top of that, they're easily accessible and can be as difficult as you make them.

But, what are the benefits they have to offer? Well, besides looking good and building a strong core, there are actually quite a few.

If you are trying to lose weight, these ab exercises can help. If you are somebody who wants to live a healthy life, these ab exercises can help. If you are an athlete, these ab exercises can help.

Here's why...

Ab Exercises Can Improve Your Stability, Balance, and Posture

Your body is constantly balancing itself throughout the day. You don't have to be an athlete or gymnast to need this balance either.

The core is the connecting point between your lower and upper body. All of these parts of your body work together for nearly all activities every day.

Believe it or not, your abs and core are actually helping you balance while walking. Really any full-body movement will require some degree of stabilization from your core. That's one reason why ab exercises can be so beneficial.

By strengthening your abs, and your core, you can help improve your balance and stabilization strength. On top of that, your core is often referred to as the posture muscles. The reason why is because their primary function is to support and protect your spine, which is super important.

So, keep your core strong! It will be important as you age, progress your workouts, and for everything in between.

I personally do these beginner ab exercises to keep my abs and core strong. They've helped me build strength and stability in nearly everything that I do. That brings us into another benefit of ab exercises!

Ab Exercises Can Help You In Almost All Physical Activities

Whether you're walking down the stairs or working out, proper ab exercises can help. Almost every movement involves your core, and having a strong one can make you perform your best.

Now, even if you don't play a sport, performance is important. I'm not necessarily talking about how well you can throw a baseball or run. Performance can also be related to how well you can squat down to pick something up off the ground. It can also be relative to your workouts or ability to do the physical activities you love.

Ab exercises can certainly help you perform in many different ways.

Ab Exercises Can Help Decrease Back Pain

These beginner ab exercises can help your core muscles work more effectively. Well, as I mentioned earlier, a big part of their function is supporting the spine. Without the necessary strength in your core, it can lead to bad posture and back issues.

By strengthening your core through these beginner ab exercises, you can keep your back healthier. Believe it or not, over 20% of adults worldwide suffer from lower back pain (1). I certainly don't want that problem! For that reason, I make sure to stay consistent with ab exercises to keep my core strong.

Popular Ab Exercises For Beginners

There are probably hundreds of different ab exercises that you can do. That's not to mention all of the different variations of these exercises either.

Ab exercises are a great way to start getting even more out of your fitness. Below we will discuss some of the best ab exercises for beginners that you can try.

I have a feeling you'll come back to some of these exercises time and time again along your fitness journey!


Planks are just about the most popular ab exercise there is. They can also be done in many different ways. There are hand planks, elbow planks, side planks, and many more.

In my opinion, they're one of the best ab exercises for beginners. This is because you can do a knee or elevated variation to make it slightly easier. I'll run you through exactly how to do a knee plank so you can get started today!

How to do a knee plank:

1. Lay on a flat surface on your stomach to begin. I recommend a carpeted floor or even a towel or yoga mat for comfort.

2. Move your body weight to your knees and palms as you push yourself off the ground with your arms.

3. Keep your core, glutes, and quads braced as you hold this position for a set period of time. Don't let your hips dip!

4. Try to hold here for 30-60 seconds before taking a rest and doing a few more sets.


Crunches make for a great ab exercise for beginners! On top of that, they aren't difficult to learn and start doing right away. As you get more advanced, you can even progress your crunches into full sit-ups where you bring your full upper body off the floor.

How to do crunches:

1. Lie with your back flat on the floor with your knees bent and pointed toward the ceiling and feet planted. I also recommend finding a carpeted or padded surface to lay on.

2. Cross your arms over your chest, putting your hands at either shoulder. This will be the starting position.

3. Squeeze your abs and exhale as you lift your shoulder blades off the ground and "crunch" your abs. Stop before your lower back starts to come off the ground.

4. Inhale as you bring your upper body back to the ground to the starting position.

5. Repeat this for reps!

Leg Raises

Leg raises are an exercise that you can do with one or both legs at a time. If you haven't done them before, they are an absolute ab burner! Leg raises can even help strengthen your hip flexors, hamstrings, and lower back.

As you gain strength in your core, you can evolve this ab exercise by adding a hold before your legs return to the floor.

How to do leg raises:

1. Lie with your back flat on the floor with your arms by your side and your legs out in front of you. I also recommend finding a carpeted or padded surface to lay on.

2. Keeping your hips and upper body on the ground and squeeze your abs to bring your legs off the ground. Keep your legs straight and keep bringing them upward as far as you can.

3. Once your legs are as far off the ground as they'll go, slowly bring them back to the ground. The more slowly you lower them, the better.

4. Repeat this for reps!

Mountain Climbers

Looking for an ab exercise for beginners that also gets your heart going? Mountain climbers will be your favorite. This is a fast-paced ab exercise that almost everyone can do.

No matter how fit you become too, they always seem to hurt. At least that's what I think! You will run out of gas a lot quicker than you may realize.

How to do mountain climbers:

1. On the floor, put your body in a hand plank on your toes and palms. Keep your core tight, body straight, and don't let your hips sink. This is the starting position.

2. To start, slightly jump through your toes and push your right knee forward, landing your right foot under your body. Your left foot should stay in the same place.

3. Next, slightly jump through your toes again to push your left knee forward, landing your left foot under your body. At the same time, push your right leg and foot behind you.

4. Now, repeat this in rapid succession like you're climbing on the floor. Make sure to keep your hands in place, arms straight, and core tight the entire time. You'll be alternating between bringing one leg forward and one leg back for a set number of reps or time.

Dead Bugs

Dead bugs are another excellent ab exercise for beginners that you do on your back. It will help train core bracing and stabilization by lifting your opposite arm and leg at the same time.

How to do dead bugs:

1. Lie with your back flat on the floor with your arms straight overhead and your legs out in front of you. I also recommend finding a carpeted or padded surface to lay on.

2. Start by slowly bringing your right arm and left leg upward, bracing your core. As your left leg comes up, keep a 90-degree bend in your knee.

3. Once your right arm and left knee are straight over your body, hold for a second.

4. Slowly lower your right arm and left leg back to the ground while still keeping your core tight.

5. Now, repeat this movement with your opposite arm and leg.

6. Repeat this for the same number of reps on either side!

How Often Should You Do Ab Exercises?

These ab exercises for beginners will surely strengthen your core in no time. But I'm sure you're wondering how often you should do them.

Personally, I'd recommend 2-3 times a week. While you could do them more often, recovery is important. On top of that, you should be doing other exercises as well. Your body is much more than just your abs!

Now, when you do other exercises, you'll also be engaging your abs.

Whether it's squats, bench press, or anything else you can think of, you can engage your abs to get more out of your lift. This is a great way to make sure that you are using your body together and lifting more effectively.

So, as you continue to strengthen your abs and core, you can get stronger overall. Stay on top of a good routine, and you'll be making good progress in no time!

Ab Exercises Won't Give You Abs Alone

Yes, these are great beginner ab exercises. Yes, it's important to work out. But working out and doing ab exercises alone won't guarantee you visible abs.

I say "visible abs" because the truth is, you have abs! If you can't see them now, it's because you are at a body fat range that doesn't allow you to see them. This is nothing to be ashamed of.

However, ab exercises alone aren't going to be the key to seeing your abs. Ab exercises will just help strengthen and build your abs. This could help enhance their structure, and make them more visible, but it's still not the whole equation.

Have you ever heard the saying: "Abs are made in the kitchen"? Well, it's true! Your workouts are important, but so is your nutrition. If you want to earn results, you can't table one or the other. You have to do both.

Obviously, this is a whole lot easier said than done. Earning results can be a difficult and confusing process. That's why I know you'll love the 1st Phorm App.

The 1st Phorm App is the ultimate all-in-one tool for your workouts, nutrition, and overall fitness journey. It simplifies the process of earning results so all you have to do is the daily work to reach your goals!

For one, the app has a full library of workout programs catered to your goals. This includes an endless number of core exercises to add to your workouts! Not only that, but you also get assigned an expert advisor.

Your advisor is there to help program your nutrition, answer your questions, and hold you accountable! Think of it like having your own coach at the convenience of your fingertips.

Inside the 1st Phorm App, you can even log your food on a daily basis. This will help make sure you're meeting your requirements to see the best results possible. You'll even be able to measure your progress and watch daily educational live streams.

If you're ready to start seeing incredible results, download the 1st Phorm App today! You won't be disappointed.

If there's anything we can do to help in the meantime, that's what we're here for. Reach out to our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches. They are available from 6 AM to 10 PM every day! Just send us an email at or give us a call at 1-800-409-9732.

Get more ab exercises for beginners and every other tool you need to succeed in the 1st Phorm App.

Download the 1st Phorm App


(1) Casiano VE, Sarwan G, Dydyk AM, et al. Back Pain. [Updated 2023 Dec 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from:


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