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The Ultimate Beginner Follow Along Ab Workout (6 Six Pack Exercises)

Optimise your core and abs.

If you want to build a stronger core and six pack but aren’t sure where to start, try this ultimate beginner follow along ab workout.

It has been designed by Jeff Cavaliere from Athlean X.

Ultimate Beginner Follow Along Ab Workout

“If you are looking for the ultimate beginner ab workout that you can do anywhere, this is it. Just 6 ab exercises are included in this abs workout for beginners and the length of time that you need to perform them depends your ability level – with a maximum of 45 seconds if able. There are 15 second rests between each exercise. Ideally, if you can complete one round and still tolerate more, a second round of the same workout is a great option that will extend this whole workout to just 14 minutes.”

Exercise Selection

“They key to the success of any beginner abs workout is the exercise selection. Far too often, ab workouts are too complicated or too difficult for those that are just starting out. Instead of working the abs they also tend to overwork the hip flexors, which can lead to lower back pain. The last thing you want when you are trying to become consistent with an ab workout is to have the workout you are doing cause tightness in your lower back.”

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“Just a little bit of discomfort in the back is enough to cause anyone to stop doing ab workouts.”

“Instead, the exercises chosen here are done so carefully and with purpose. We want to start with a lower ab movement since these are often the most difficult to perform. The simple reason for this is that in order to bias the lower abs you have to lift the pelvis back towards your head. This means you are going to be lifting some percentage of the weight of your legs.”

Lower Abs

“When lower ab exercises are performed with the legs straight out, the weight lifted is going to be greater. Beyond this, the hip flexors can dominate when the beginner is not experienced enough to know how to diminish their participation and make the abs do more of the work. The solution for this is to open the legs up as in the Reverse Butterfly Crunch.”

Rotation

“From here we want to make sure we include rotation into our ab workout for beginners, everyone really. The opposite knee to elbow lets me do this. The goal is to not just look to bring one knee to the opposite elbow but contract your knee to your elbow. There is a big difference in how this feels and how much it engages your abs when you do it right.”

The Obliques

“The Obliques are so important to the visual tapering of the abs that you need to make sure you include exercises that target them well. The one chosen for this workout is the kickstand side plank. Here you want to build up that pillar strength that keeps your core strong and resistant to unwanted spinal stress. 45 seconds per side is great here if able.”

Midrange Movement

“The midrange movement of choice is the hands back knee thrusts. Again, the goal is to move both the top and bottom towards each other. When doing the typical version of the hands back knee tuck, there is a tendency for a beginner to want to overuse the hip flexors again. By doing it one leg at a time we can give the resting hip flexor a bit of a reprieve and avoid excessive load or stress.”

Plank Toe Tap

“The plank toe tap is another one of those rotational exercises that helps us to drive oblique engagement with the rectus or upper abs. The goal is to reach through towards the opposite toe so you can be sure that you are getting enough rotation of the abs in this workout. Alternating sides for 45 seconds is a great goal to shoot for.”

maintain motivation to exercise as you ageSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Frog Crunch

“Finally, the frog crunch is another one of those beginner ab exercises that allows you to train the upper abs without having the hip flexors dominate the movement. This helps the rectus abdominis do the majority of the work.”

Ultimate Beginner Follow Along Ab Workout

Here is the ultimate beginner ab workout:

  • Butterfly Reverse Crunch x 45 seconds | 15 second rest
  • Opposite Knee to Elbow x 45 seconds | 15 second rest
  • Kickstand Side Planks (R) x 45 seconds | 15 second rest
  • Kickstand Side Planks (L) x 45 seconds | 15 second rest
  • Hands Back Knee Thrusts x 45 seconds | 15 second rest
  • Plank Toe Taps x 45 seconds | 15 second rest
  • Frog Crunch x 45 seconds | 15 second rest

“Again, if you are able to tolerate a second round of this, be sure to click on the link at the top of this description to get right back to the time stamped beginning of the workout and repeat. If you are unable to make the entire 45 seconds for any of the exercises here in this beginner ab workout, don’t worry. Just go for as long as you can and look to increase as you get stronger over time with this workout.”

Video – Beginner Follow Along Ab Workout

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Muscles of the abs and core

The core muscles are a group of muscles forming the trunk of the human body, around the abdominal, pelvic and lower back regions. They include transversus abdominis (transverse abdominis), internal obliques, external obliques, rectus abdominis (rectus), psoas major, iliacus and pectineus.

The core muscles play an important role in stabilizing your spine and pelvis during movement by controlling the movement of these structures during functional activities such as sitting up from a prone position or bending forward at the waist.

The core muscles are a group of muscles forming the trunk of the human body

Core muscles are a group of muscles that form the trunk of the human body, around the abdominal, pelvic and lower back regions. They include:

  • Rectus abdominis: runs vertically along the front of your abdomen and forms your six-pack abs (the muscle you can see).
  • Transversus abdominis: lies deep to rectus abdominis and helps support your spine by compressing it from side to side. It also supports organs in your abdomen like your bladder, intestines and kidneys when you breathe deeply or hold an ‘abdominal brace’.
  • Erector spinae: runs along either side of your spine from top to bottom. These muscles help you keep good posture but don’t perform any movement themselves—they act as a passive stabiliser for other core muscles such as transversus abdominis during movements such as bending forward at the waist or performing sit-ups.

The psoas (or iliopsoas) is a muscle group that connects the lower limbs to the vertebral column

The psoas is a muscle group that connects the lower limbs to the vertebral column. It is a long muscle which runs from the pelvis to the lumbar spine, and it plays a role in flexing and rotating the hip joint, as well as bending forward and stabilizing your spine.

The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal region of the lower limbs

The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal region of the lower limbs. It is a small muscle that runs from the sacrum to the femur and lies deep to (surrounding) other muscles in this region. It is part of a larger structure called quadratus femoris, which allows for both rotation and extension at the hip joint.

The primary role of this muscle is rotating your thigh outward when bending forward or walking. However, it also assists with hip extension when you are standing upright or walking on level ground.

The iliacus is a muscle that plays a role in moving the thigh

The iliacus is a muscle that plays a role in moving the thigh. It is the longest hip flexor muscle and originates on the iliac crest and inserts into the lesser trochanter of the femur. Its primary function is to flex (bend) the hip joint and rotate it medially (towards your midline).

It’s also responsible for some stabilizing work during running and walking, but you can replace this function with other muscles if your Iliacus becomes weak or injured so it’s not too important for everyday life.

Beginner Follow Along Ab Workout – Transversus Abdominis

Transversus abdominis is a muscle of the abdominal wall. It is a thin muscle that runs along the sides of your trunk, from your lower ribs to your pubic bone. The transverse abdominis helps to compress and hold your trunk in place by wrapping around it like an elastic bandage.

It’s important for this muscle to be strong because it acts like a corset, supporting your internal organs while they move up and down with each breath you take or with every step you take when walking or running.

Beginner Follow Along Ab Workout – Rectus Abdominis

The rectus abdominis is a long, flat muscle that extends from the lower ribs to the pelvis. It’s the main muscle in your abdominal wall and forms a “6-pack” appearance when trained correctly. The rectus abdominis acts as an antagonist of the psoas muscle, which runs alongside it. While these two muscles work together to flex and extend your spine, they also have different functions during normal daily activities like walking or climbing stairs:

The rectus abdominis pulls downwards on your pelvis and extends your trunk upwards; this helps you stand tall and straightens out any curves in your back.

The psoas helps with bending forward at the waist so you can pick up an object from the floor without bending over too much (like picking up something off of the floor).

Beginner Follow Along Ab Workout – Obliques

The obliques, sometimes called the “side abs,” are the most superficial abdominal muscles. They run diagonally down the sides of your torso and attach to your ribs and pelvis.

These muscles help you twist your torso, bend sideways, and bend forwards.

Conclusion – Beginner Follow Along Ab Workout

The obliques are a group of muscles that run from your ribcage to the pelvis. There are two sets of obliques, iliac and spinal. The iliac obliques lie above the pelvic cavity (as opposed to below) and help rotate the trunk while standing or sitting upright. The spinal oblices attach along the spine and aid in flexing/bending forward as well as rotating side-to-side movements.

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