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8 Exercises to build a Solid Core

8 Exercises to build a Solid Core

“A six-pack isn’t an end goal in itself. It should be the welcome side effect of building a phenomenally strong core and taking charge of your nutrition. Function always come first, but when you are training this hard and eating well, then why shouldn’t you have both?

A solid core is the basis for all functional movements, and a lack of this foundation will only result in major weaknesses in all your athletic performances. There are exercises that work your entire core (such as L Sits) and then there are exercises that target specific areas or muscle groups, which can be effective as accessory exercises.

THE MUSCLES THAT MAKE UP YOUR CORE AND ABS

Your core and abs comprise of the rectus abdominis, obliques (external abdominal, internal abdominal, and transverse) intercostals and serratus.

  • The Rectus Abdominis stretches from your sternum down to your pelvic bone. Its purpose is to pull your upper torso towards your hips. An exercise that targets this area is the standard crunch.
  • Your Obliques are located either side of your waist. They are essential for you to be able to tilt and twist your upper body. An Exercise that targets these are Russian Twists.
  • Intercostals are located to the side of your rib cage. They function to elevate and depress the ribs. An exercise that targets them is the air bike.
  • The Serratus is located between your abs and lats. Its function is to pull the scapula forward. An exercise that targets them specifically are barbell pullovers.

Core muscles are mainly comprised of fast twitch fibers. This means that they respond well to medium rep ranges and explosive movements. Intensity is the name of the game here.

8. DEADLIFT

There are certain exercises that target specific muscle groups within your core, and can be a fun way to do accessory work and improve certain weaknesses. There are also exercises that will turn you into a strength machine hewn from iron sinews and muscles like slabs of steel. The Deadlift fits into the latter category. It targets your whole core, and puts your body a great deal of healthy stress, forcing you to grow stronger and develop a powerful core.

7. L SITS

These will crush your core. The beauty of this hold is that it leaves you nowhere to hide. It demands perfect form and in many cases, identifies any of your weaknesses very easily.

8 Functional Exercises to build a Solid Core and Abs of Steel
Building a strong core

6. RUSSIAN TWISTS

You can do these standing or seated. Take a kettlebell or a bumper plate and hold it out in front of your body. Take a deep breath and tighten your core. Then from your core, twist the weight to either side of you, and keep that tension. You can move the weight closer or further away from your body to make the movement more testing. Make sure you maintain total control over the weight at all times, as well as keeping your body tight.

5. SEATED BARBELL TWIST

To perform a seated barbell twist, first, sit on a flat bench with an unweighted barbell on your thighs. Grip the bar with your hands more than shoulder width apart. Lift the barbell over your head and place it behind your neck, resting on your shoulders. In a slow and controlled motion, move only your waist from side to side. This is a great way to warm up your core before you hit it with more testing exercises.

4. BUILD A SOLID CORE WITH BACK EXTENSIONS

This is a perfect way to target your posterior chain. The narrative that runs through the majority of contemporary fitness information tells people that abs are the simulacrum for a healthy and fit core. As you already know, this isn’t true.  Your core is interconnected and involves many muscle groups working together to stabilise your body, control and generate force, and move objects (such as weights) through the full range of motion for a specific exercise.

A problem with this erroneous fitness narrative is that it completely ignores the vital role that the core plays in stabilizing your lower spine. If an individual neglects their lower back and core, in favour of the rectus adominis at the front, then this can have pretty bad consequences. Back extensions are a great way to fortify your lower back and core. They can be done on a GHD, on the floor (if you are just starting out) and even weighted to increase the level of difficulty.

 

3. AIR BIKES (NOT THE ASSAULT BIKES)

This variation on the popular crunch will more intensely involve your abs and carve a solid core. To perform this exercise, lie flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and raise your neck towards your chest. Bend your knees and bring them up till they are perpendicular to the floor. Now perform a cycling motion, push your right leg out as you bring your left knee close to your chest. While you do this crunch your waist and twist to the left allowing your right elbow to touch your left knee. Repeat this for the other leg.

8 Functional Exercises to build a Solid Core and Abs of Steel
post core workout destruction

2. LEG RAISES / TOES TO BAR

Leg Raises are another great abs and core exercise. To perform this movement, lie flat on your back. Place your hands close to your body with your palms facing down. Raise your legs in a slow controlled manner until they are at a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower your legs back down until they are a few inches from the floor. You can make these much more difficult by doing Hanging Knee Raises from a bar or Strict Toes to Bar instead.

8 Functional Exercises to build a Solid Core and Abs of Steel

 

1. OVERHEAD SQUATS

These are a perfect exercise to test your core stability. Requiring a zen like concentration to do well, this exercise is also a great way to point out weaknesses in your shoulder stability, balance and general mobility.”

An Interview by Robbie Hudson (courtesy of boxrox.com)

Read the rest here: https://www.boxrox.com/build-solid-core-steel-abs/

 

8 Functional Exercises to build a Solid Core and Abs of Steel

“A six-pack isn’t an end goal in itself. It should be the welcome side effect of building a phenomenally strong core and taking charge of your nutrition. Function always come first, but when you are training this hard and eating well, then why shouldn’t you have both?

A solid core is the basis for all functional movements, and a lack of this foundation will only result in major weaknesses in all your athletic performances. There are exercises that work your entire core (such as L Sits) and then there are exercises that target specific areas or muscle groups, which can be effective as accessory exercises.

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