A Beginner Core Workout

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Bird dog

This exercise works the same muscles that the bicycle crunch does, but in a unique way. On all fours, place your hands and knees flat on the floor. Straighten out your left leg and arm in front of yourself, while balancing your other hand and knee. Hold for a few deep breaths. To add a challenge, bend both your left elbow (left knee) and right knee (right leg) until they touch under your stomach. Repeat the exercise using your left arm and right leg. Continue to alternate, doing 10 reps each side.

Pelvic tilt

While lying on your back, place your feet on the ground. Make sure that your feet are as wide as the width of your hips. Reach your arms toward your feet. Inhale deeply and lift your low back slightly. Exhale while you tilt your pelvis backward and press your lower back into the earth. As if zipping a pair of tight pants, pull your naval toward your spine. Repeat 10 times.

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Pilates ab crunch

As you did in the previous exercise, get into the pelvic-tilt position. Place your hands behind your back in this tipped position. Your low back should be pressed to the ground. As you curl your neck, chest, and head up, exhale. Imagine that you are holding an egg between your chin and chest. You do not want it to break. After gently pulsing upwards, rest for 10 seconds.

Single leg lower & lift

Lift your right leg toward the ceiling while lying on your back. Press your low back into ground by tilting the pelvis. As you lower your right leg toward the ground and stop at approximately 45 degrees, hold this pelvic tilt. Then, bring it up to the center. Repeat this 10 times, then switch legs.

Lower lift

Start by lying on your stomach with your feet out straight in front of you. Engage your abdominal muscles as you lift your legs straight upward. As you lower your legs at a 45-degree angle, exhale. As you raise your legs, inhale. Repeat this 10 times.

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