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The Best Core Workout For Thicker, Stronger Abs (YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!)

19 Views· 20 May 2022
John Baker
John Baker
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If your core is weak, then your ability to get stronger on your exercises and your ability to grow the muscles surrounding each of your joints will be negatively impacted. And, as a bonus, it WILL also provide aesthetic benefits (six pack abs!) as well. Regular core strengthening with core strength exercises does actually increase the thickness of the deep abdominal muscles, meaning that they may help make them a little more visible. So, how exactly do we go about training it? Well, that’s exactly what I’ll cover in this video with a full, best core workout (with 5 of the best abs exercises) that you can do right away for a stronger AND better looking midsection.

But before we dive into the best core workout we need to first note that a better approach to train the core would be to use core exercises that challenge the core in every possible way that your core could be challenged in a lift, sport, or just in your daily life. And this can be broken down into 4 categories. Anterior core stability exercises where we train the body to resist excessively arching the lower back (extension). Posterior core stability exercises where we train the body to resist excessively rounding the lower back (flexion). Lateral core stability exercises where we train the body to resist bending to one side. And lastly, rotary core stability exercises where we train the body to resist excessive rotation of the lumbar spine.

The first of the core strength exercises we’ll do here is abdominal bracing. What you want to do is lay on your back with your knees bent. Then from here, you want to take a deep breath into your belly, a deep breath out, and then when you near maximal exhalation brace your core as if you were prepare for a punch to the gut. Continue breathing while holding this contraction. The next exercise, reverse crunches, does a great job of challenging our anterior core stability. What you want to do here is lay with your knees bent either on a bench or on the ground with your arms holding onto something over your head. Here, posteriorly tilt your pelvis and flatten your lower back by applying the abdominal bracing practice we previously went through. Then, lift your knees up to 90 degrees, curl your pelvis up towards your belly button and then slowly come back down.

Next, we’ll challenge our posterior core stability by using an exercise highly recommended for core strengthening, the Bird Dog. For these, we’ll get on all fours with your back neutral, brace the core, and then simply kick one of your legs backwards while raising the opposite arm until they’re both straight. Hold for a second or two here, then come back down and repeat on the other side. Next, we’ll challenge our lateral core stability with suitcase carries, where you hold a kettle bell or dumbbell with one arm and take steps while ensuring that your torso remains upright and shoulders remain level.

Lastly, we’re going to work on our rotary core stability with one of the best abs exercises available: the palloff press. Here we’ll wrap a band around a fixture, take a few steps out laterally, and assume an athletic stance with knees slightly bent, feet at about shoulder width apart, and your core braced. Then, start with your hands close to your sternum, and from there simply extend your arms forward and back while resisting the urge to rotate inwards.

Here’s a breakdown of the full core workout:

Exercise 1: Abdominal Bracing (1-3 sets of 60 second holds)
Exercise 2: Reverse Crunches (2-3 sets of 10-15 reps)
Exercise 3: Bird Dog (2-3 sets of 5 reps each side)
Exercise 4: Suitcase Carries (2-3 sets of 30s carries each side)
Exercise 5: Palloff Press (2-3 sets of 5-10 reps each side)

All in all, it’s important that within your weekly routine, you’re training your core in each of the 4 categories. Although many movements and big lifts in the gym will indirectly train your core in these movement patterns, these additional exercises can help ensure that you are in fact adequately training your core and not overlooking and key muscles. In the long run, this will not only lead to a better looking midsection, but a stronger and more stable one as well. And for a step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to train these important muscles and pairs them with a weekly workout and nutrition plan based on science, so that you lean down and build lean muscle as efficiently and as safely as possible, then simply take the analysis quiz to discover which science-based program would be best for you and where your body is currently at below:



Filmed by: Bruno Martin Del Campo

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