If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get back into fitness after a long time away, or to start your fitness journey altogether, let’s talk about your core. Ever experience a deep belly laugh, put away groceries, or sit up straight when someone told you to pay more attention? You’re using your abs for all of that. They play a role in daily functions, stabilize your posture, and help you walk, twist, etc. That’s why working on your core is important — it’s not just for looks.
First thing’s first: you’ll want to learn how to engage your core, which you can do by pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Here are core-activating exercises to practice. For workouts that are on the easier side and by definition low-impact, check out the videos ahead. They’re all relatively short and are made for people just starting out at, or getting back to, a beginner level. One is also a standing ab routine, and we’ve included a gentle yoga flow for the abdominal wall as well. Find an open space and a mat if need be, and get to work! (Plus, when you feel ready, try these follow-along plank challenges.)