The Top Core-Strengthening Workouts To Try

Experience an ideal blend of exercises designed to engage every muscle in your core. Boost your fitness goals with our top core-strengthening workouts that promise to build and tone your midsection. Whether you’re a gym enthusiast or a home workout warrior, these workouts are effective and versatile for every fitness level.

Beginner Core-Strengthening Workouts

Core workouts don’t have to be exceptionally difficult to be extremely effective. Here are three beginner-friendly exercises with easy-to-learn form.

Forearm Plank

This classic go-to exercise lays the foundation for your core-strengthening journey. Ideal for beginners, the forearm plank enhances your core stability while improving your posture and alignment.

Perform this workout by positioning yourself in a push-up stance with forearms on the ground. Ensure your body forms straight from your head to your heels, engaging your abs as you hold the position. Start with holding for 20 to 30 seconds and gradually increase your time as your core strength improves.

Hollow Hold

The hollow hold is another fundamental exercise that’s all about core control. This workout targets the entire core, promoting stability and strength.

Start by lying down flat on your back. Slowly lift your legs and upper body off the ground while keeping your lower back pressed against the floor until you create a curved shape similar to a bowl. Maintain this body position for sets of 20 to 30 seconds, ensuring your core stays engaged throughout the exercise.

As your endurance builds, increase your hold time. The hollow hold might seem challenging at first glance, but with consistent practice, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your core strength and stability.

Pro Tip

Keep your hands and toes pointed for a subtle difference in your positioning and how you strengthen your abs.


Crunches are a staple in any core-strengthening routine, known for effectively targeting the abdominal muscles. Perform crunches by lying on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head or cross them over your chest.

Next, carefully lift your upper body off the ground, focusing on contracting your abs. Lower yourself back down and repeat. Keep your head straight and avoid pointing your chin toward your body, as you may subconsciously begin to “pull” yourself with your shoulders and head instead of your core.

Crunches are an incredibly versatile workout, allowing you to increase intensity by adding weights or performing on an exercise ball. Try this top core-strengthening workout to achieve a well-defined midsection.

Intermediate Core-Strengthening Workouts

If you’ve already mastered the basics and want more of a challenge for your abs, try the following three intermediate core workouts.

Medicine Ball Sit-Ups

This exercise involves the traditional sit-up with an added twist: a medicine ball. Position yourself as you would for a regular sit-up, but hold a medicine ball in your hands, keeping it close to your chest throughout the set.

The extra weight of the medicine ball challenges your core muscles to work harder, providing a more comprehensive and effective workout. Suitable for gym and home workouts, medicine ball sit-ups work well with different-sized balls to adjust the difficulty level.

Hollow Body Rock

The hollow body rock is a dynamic variation of the static hollow hold, adding an extra challenge and making your core work harder. As the name suggests, you perform a rocking motion while maintaining the hollow hold position.

Begin by getting into a hollow hold, then use your core muscles to create a gentle rocking motion back and forth. This constant movement demands more from your core to hold the position, enhancing your strength and stability.

It’s an excellent exercise to progress your core training, requiring balance, control, and endurance. The hollow body rock can be a tough workout to master, but you’ll receive more gains with consistent effort.

Dumbbell Russian Twists

Like a regular Russian twist, this workout requires you sit on the floor in an upward sit-up position. Then, lean back a few inches while keeping your back straight. You’ll also need to hold a dumbbell with both hands at your chest as you slowly twist your torso to the right and then to the left to complete one rep.

This rotational movement strengthens your whole core—including your obliques—and enhances your balance and coordination. For an added challenge, elevate your feet off the floor to put more pressure on your core to keep your balance. Use different weights to adjust the intensity as you grow stronger with each workout.

Advanced Core-Strengthening Workouts

Can’t get enough of a challenge? Try your hand at these advanced workouts, but bear in mind that you should only attempt these if you have mastered good form in easier ab exercises.

Dragon Flag

The dragon flag, popularized by martial arts legend Bruce Lee, is a challenging yet rewarding exercise that engages your entire core. Start by lying down on your back on a bench or floor, holding onto something sturdy above your head, such as the end of the bench or a bar.

Next, lift your body off the ground, except for your shoulders, using your core strength to keep your body in a straight line. Continue to lower and lift your body without letting it touch the ground.

This exercise requires significant core control, strength, and stability but delivers remarkable results, enhancing your overall core strength and sculptural definition. Practice dragon flags with your home workout equipment, such as a workout bench or the bottom portion of a home gym station, to feel more confident and comfortable. Incorporate this exercise into your advanced core workout routine and experience the potency of this ultimate core-strengthening exercise.

Barbell Rollout

This advanced workout targets your abs, lower back, and the stabilizing muscles in your hips. Begin by kneeling on the floor with a barbell in front of you, loaded with small weights to prevent it from rolling away. With your hands shoulder-width apart, slowly roll the barbell forward, extending your body as far as you can without your torso touching the floor.

Using your core, pull yourself back to the starting position. Remember that the barbell shouldn’t be so heavy that it is difficult to move.

Pro Tip

Consider using knee pads to prevent soreness in your knees if you perform this exercise on hard floors.

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are an extremely effective core exercise known for precisely targeting lower abdominal muscles. This advanced workout involves holding onto a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping your body straight, use your core muscles to raise your legs until they’re at a 90-degree angle with your torso. Lower your legs back down with control to complete one rep.

This movement builds and tones your core muscles, improving grip strength and overall body control. Intensify your workout by adding ankle weights or performing the exercise with straight legs. Perform this exercise using a home workout station with bars at different angles or a pull-up bar hanging from a sturdy doorway.

These exercises define your midsection and improve your overall strength, stability, and performance in daily activities and other workouts. Consistency is key, and you’ll see remarkable improvements with regular practice. Jump-start your fitness journey with these core workouts today and witness the transformation toward a healthier, stronger you!

The Top Core-Strengthening Workouts To Try