Easy Core Exercises And Core Work For Overweight And Obese People

Adding ab exercises into your workout is a great way to improve core strength. But if you’re bored of crunches, finding exercises for obese and overweight individuals can be difficult. That’s why we’ve put together a perfect list of exercises for overweight people looking to ad variety to their ab workouts.

5 min read
Sean's profile
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
01/03/22
Last updated
23/06/22
In This Resource
  • Benefits Of Core Exercises For Overweight People
  • 1. Builds A Stable Base To Work From
  • 2. Makes Day To Day Life Easier
  • 3. Reduces Risk Of Lower Back Pain
  • How To Use Ab Work For Overweight People
  • 1. Non-Bodyweight Variations
  • 2. Start Simple And Light
  • 3. Progress Overtime (add in bodyweight bearing variations)
  • 4. Add Walking
  • Sample Core Workout for Overweight People
  • More Exercises For Overweight People
  • Common Questions
  • Should Overweight People Do Core Exercises?
  • What Exercises Should I Do If I’m Overweight?

Finding entry level exercises for people who are overweight or obese can be challenging, especially if you’re using instagram to find your workouts. Here we have some of the most effective core variations that overweight and obese people can use to start to develop their core. These exercises are beneficial for everyone, but if weight is a consideration, bodyweight movements can be tough, making these movement valuable for people in the above categories.

Benefits Of Core Exercises For Overweight People

1. Builds A Stable Base To Work From

Building a strong core can be an excellent way to introduce overweight and obese individuals to resistance training as it applies to all the other key movement patterns that are essential to success in their training journey. It will help them with squats, hinges, presses etc.

2. Makes Day To Day Life Easier

A strong core can make day to day life so much easier and less effortful, this can be from getting out of a chair or bed to going on a long hike with friends. These behaviours can be tough if you’re overweight or obese and have a sedentary lifestyle.

3. Reduces Risk Of Lower Back Pain

Having a strong lower back is one of the best predictors of preventing back pain, making some of these core exercises perfect for overweight or obese individuals looking to avoid chronic lower back pain. Building the musculature of the core will help support extra weight being carried.

How To Use Ab Work For Overweight People

1. Non-Bodyweight Variations

Using weighted core exercises is great for overweight or obese individuals as it can be too challenging to use bodyweight exercises. Thankfully there are an endless supply of weight bearing core variations, meaning beginners will be able to train the core without using their bodyweight.

2. Start Simple And Light

Your starting point is personal to you, meaning each workout should be tailored to you and the way your body works. Simple exercises with light weights are a great way for overweight and obese people to be introduced to core training. They require little skill acquisition and often allow you to “feel” where the work is taking place, which can be motivating during a training session.

3. Progress Overtime (add in bodyweight bearing variations)

Slowly adding weight or difficulty onto exercises (known as progressive overload) is a very effective way to build a strong core over time. This can also be done by selecting more and more challenging exercises over time. You might start with just weight bearing exercises, then move to easier bodyweight variations and eventually tackle more challenging bodyweight variations.

4. Add Walking

Add walking into your daily routine can be much more effective health intervention than an ab workout. Yes, working specific muscle groups can be useful, but general movement can be a far more beneficial way to achieve your goals.

Sample Core Workout for Overweight People

Complete 3 rounds

1. KB Suitcase Hold

Hold for 30 seconds with 12kg

2. Russian Twists

Complete 16 repetitions with 5kg

3. Deadbug Hold

Hold for 30 seconds

More Exercises For Overweight People

Common Questions

Should Overweight People Do Core Exercises?

Yes. As stated above core exercises are extremely beneficial to everyone, including those who are overweight or obese. Maintaining your movement capacity when your are overweight is very important, if you make the decision to try and lose weight and you are already strong this endeavour will be much easier. Even if you do not want to lose weight, exercises will still be undeniably beneficial for your health in many ways.

What Exercises Should I Do If I’m Overweight?

There are not specific exercises people who are overweight should be doing, the key principle is doing exercises that your able to do with good technique, in a thought-out, sustainable plan. This might mean an overweight person can do 20 press ups and is very strong, or they cannot hold the top of the press up position. The weight is mainly taken into consideration when it comes to body-weight bearing activities, not to say that overweight people cannot do these, its just they may find them more challenging as they will have to deal with a heavier weight.

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