10 Best Bodyweight Core Exercises

10 Best Bodyweight Core Exercises

Bodyweight training is one of our favorite types of training for a number of reasons. It’s a great option for clients with limited access to equipment, it helps clients build motor control, and the relative strength it develops carries over to daily life.

Core training is arguably the most popular form of bodyweight training. Whether you are a coach or a client, it is a good idea to have a couple of go-to bodyweight core exercises that you can add to your programs or use for a minimalist training session. Here are the 10 best bodyweight core exercises.

A Quick Note on Progression

When you progress any exercise, to get the best results it’s good practice to start with simple and move to complex. This list of bodyweight core exercises follows the same concept and is listed in order of most stable to least stable. We recommend this type of progression because it helps the client develop motor control before introducing more variables to the movement. 

We teach our coaches to use the simple to complex progression for all types of training, from weightlifting to aerobic work. Learn how you can start creating results with progressive exercise programs in this free fitness coaching course.

The 10 Best Bodyweight Core Exercises

  1. Dead Bug Floor Angels

How to:

Begin in the supine position face up with your back on the floor. Form a 90-degree hip and knee angle with both legs. Start sweeping the arms against the floor from the overhead position down to the sides. Sweep back up to the overhead position to complete the repetition.

  1. Alternating Dead Bug

How to:

Begin in the supine position face up with your back on the floor. Form a 90-degree hip and knee angle with both legs, slowly lower one leg to the floor, with a neutral pelvis, while keeping the opposing leg at the 90-degree hip and knee angle, then repeat with the opposite leg.

  1. Arms Forward Hollow Body Hold

How to:

Lie down flat on your back and contract the abs, pulling the belly button towards the floor. Lock out the arms, point them towards your legs, and point your toes. Then slowly raise the shoulders and legs off the ground, while the lower back remains in contact with the floor. 

  1. Front Plank on Knees

How to:

Start with the palms just below the shoulders, arms locked out, with knees on the ground, tightening your glutes and abdominal muscles, reaching the pelvis to the rib cage.

  1. Forearm Plank

How to:

Assume a flat position isometrically holding your forearms in contact with the ground as well as your toes. Hold this position for however long is needed.

  1. Side Plank

How to:

Start with elbows just below the shoulders, push your body into a straight line, tighten your glutes and abdominal muscles.

  1. Front Plank

How to:

Start with palms just below the shoulders, arms locked out, pushing your body into a straight line, tightening your glutes and abdominal muscles, reaching the pelvis to the rib cage.

  1. Single Arm Front Plank

How to:

Start with palms just below the shoulders, with one arm locked out, push your body into a straight line, tightening your glutes and abdominal muscles, reaching the pelvis to the rib cage.

  1. Front Plank to Side Plank

How to:

Start with elbows just below the shoulders, pushing your body into a straight line, tightening the glutes and abdominal muscles, then rotate to a side position with their elbow stacked under the shoulder, keeping hips and knees open, raising the hip-high as possible.

  1. Front Plank with Rotation

How to: 

Start with palms just below the shoulders, arms locked out, push your body into a straight line, tighten your glutes and abdominal muscles, reach the pelvis to the rib cage, then rotate onto one arm, opposite arm reaching toward the ceiling, ending in a side plank position.

Exercise Progressions for Every Client

The simple to complex progression is effective with any client. But for the best results the exercises within this progression must be catered to the individual client’s ability. 

To ensure that they can deliver the best results, we teach all OPEX Coaches to efficiently and effectively create programs for each individual client. This efficiency lets them work with up to 75 clients at a time. Sound intriguing? Sign up for our free coaching course today and learn the basics of the OPEX System of Coaching.

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