Everyone likes to have a tight stomach. It helps get rid of back pain. It makes you look good. And, you clothes fit better too. If you don’t like going to gym. Or, just don’t have the time to do so, try these bet bodyweight core exercises at home.
They’ll target different sections of your core, not just your abs but also your obliques (sides) and your back. That way, you’ll enjoy better posture and get fit abs while strengthening your back muscles.
8 Bodyweight Core Exercises You Can Do at Home for Reduce Belly Fat
Behind sit ups, crunches are the most popular core exercise. You’ll see everyone doing it. It is a great core movement that engages your entire anterior core. This lets you work all the different abdominal muscles with one movement.
In addition, it places a lot less stress on your neck and back compared to sit ups.
How to Do Crunches
- Lie on your back and bend your knees so they point to the ceiling. Keep your feet on the floor and hip-width part.
- Place your hands behind your head.
- Curl your body upwards by lift your head.
- Hold the top of the movement.
- Then lower head back to the ground.
This is amongst the most effective bodyweight core exercises. It is a more advanced version of the crunch.
In addition to the crunching movement, you’ll also be using your legs. This increases the tension in your mid section, causing your abs to contract more.
Double crunches forces you to compress your lower back to the ground. That action engages the muscle with. And, makes the all the major muscles in the abdominal region work.
As such, double crunches lets you work both the upper and the lower abdominals at the same time.
How to Perform the Double Crunch
- To begin the double crunch, lie down on your back. Interlace your hands and place them behind your head.
- Keeping your legs together, lift them slightly off the ground.
- Do a crunch while bringing your knees to your towards your chest at the same time
- Contract your abdomen slowly and return to the starting position.
This is a core exercise that involves more coordination. It makes you move two opposite sides at the same time.
Bicycles targets and works all the major core muscles while putting the most focus on your obliques. This bodyweight exercise is excellent for strengthening the core and toning the thighs.
As a bonus, you get to burn a few calories doing it too.
The bicycle exercise is one of those movements where once you start to feel the burn, it is a sign that you are doing it right.
The video below demonstrates the bicycle exercise. It also shows you different ways to the do exercise. This lets you start out without overexerting or overextending yourself.
How to Perform the Bicycle Exercise
- To begin this exercise, lie on the floor and stretch out your legs straight out.
- Place your hands at the back of your head.
- Raise both your legs. Make sure thigh is perpendicular to the ground and your calves are parallel to the ground.
- Try to touch your right elbow to your left knee. Do so by pulling your knee upwards towards your chest.
- When doing so, keep your right leg straight and several inches away from the floor. Try to avoid pulling on your neck.
- Switch sides and repeat the same motion. Try to touch your right leg knee to your left elbow.
- This makes one rep.
While doing bicycles, form is very important to get the full benefits of the exercise.
Planks are different form the core exercises we’ve seen so far because they don’t involve any movement. They’re an isometric exercise where you hold a position for a certain amount of time.
Planks are among the most popular core exercises around. The reason for this is that they’re very effective.
It works every muscle in the abdomen. Plus, it strengthens the entire body while building shoulder stability.
Like those above, you don’t need any equipment to do this exercise. Planks physically prepare your body for weight lifting or intense workouts.
How to Perform Planks
- Take a push-up stance on the floor.
- Bend your elbows in a 90 degree position. This lets you rest your weight on your forearms.
- Position your elbows such that they are directly under your shoulders.
- Keep your body aligned in a straight line. This means your head, spine hips and legs form one single straight line.
- Stay in that position as long as you’re able to. Start by trying to get to 30 seconds. Then work your way up to 2 minutes.
Leg raises are a great core exercise that focuses on the lower abdominals. They’re unique in that most ab exercises target the upper abdominal muscles.
In addition to your abs, leg raises work your legs and hip flexors. This exercise is an essential in any good core workout workout as it complements sit ups and crunches.
We also like that they increase the flexibility of your hips and lower back.
How to Do Leg Raises:
- Begin this exercise by lying flat on the floor. Place your arms placed at your sides. And, keep your legs stretched out next to one another.
- Raise your legs straight up keeping your toes pointed forward. Make sure to keep your legs straight the entire time.
- When your legs are perpendicular to the floor, pause for second.
- Then, slowly lower them back down till they’re just a few inches off the ground.
- This is one repetition.
- Raise them again and back till you reach 8 to 10 reps.
Maintain a slow tempo so that your core muscles experience full contraction. Keeping the tempo slow and methodical also reduces the risk of injury.
Sit ups are the most well-known core exercise. We’ve all been told to do them during our elementary school days. And, many consider it to be among the best bodyweight core exercises.
It’s worth noting that it is important to get your form right when doing this exercise. That’s because you can hurt your neck or cervical area if you don’t follow proper technique.
Sit ups strengthens the core namely your abdominals. It also works the upper and the lower back muscles.
Here’s a video that demonstrates how to do sit ups. It also explains the different variations you can try to spice things up.
How to Do Sit Ups
- Lie on the floor with your back.
- With your knees bent and your feet placed a hip-distance apart, intertwine your fingers and place your hands behind your head. Keep your elbows pointed to the sides of the room.
- Raise your torso gently until it is only a few inches from your thighs. Do this by bending your waist and hips.
- At the top position, inhale then exhale
- Then, return to start position.
That is one full rep.
Inverted Frog Legs
This is an intermediate variation of the plank exercise. It adds some movement that enhances core activation. Doing so also increases the amount of effort you need to do it keeping balance and stability.
Inverted frog legs strengthens your core as well as the muscles of the legs, hamstrings and the quads. It mostly focuses on your obliques and lower abs.
How to Do Inverted Frog Legs
- With your hands a few inches wide apart and your legs out straight, get into a good plank position.
- Put all your weight on one leg and breathe out
- Crunching the other leg up and across your body. Your goal is to bring your knee as close as you can to the opposite elbow.
- Make sure to keep your abs tight when doing the movement. This ensures that your core remains stationary.
- Breathe out and return your leg to the starting position.
- Make sure that you are in plank position before you begin the exercise with the other leg.
This is one of the best exercises for your obliques. It works the sides of your abs. And, improves both strength and stability.
Here is a video on how to do side plank. It shows the different progressions you can follow when doing the exercise for the first time. This lets you begin with an easier version and move up to the actual side plank.
After that, you can add a few movements to make the basic side plank more difficult.
How to Do Side Planks
- Lie on the floor and turn onto your right side.
- Keep your body and legs stretched out. Your feet and hips should stack up on each other.
- Put your right elbow beneath your shoulder. Make sure that your head stays aligned with your spine in a straight line.
- Contract your core while lifting your hips and knees from the floor.
- Hold the top position for 30 seconds. When starting out, try a shorter duration. Then work your way up to 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Do the same process for the other side.