Six pack, 8 pack (genetic freaks), washboard, whatever you want to call it: your core is the center piece for any muscular physique. It is the eye catcher for the opposite sex. A muscular and well defined core shows both strength and health. Both guys and gals strive to have a strong tone midsection but very few of them ever achieve getting one. If you have been looking for the perfect program to get you the tight, strong core that you have always been looking for, look no further.
In this article we are going to go over the basic anatomy of the what makes up the core and list 5 easy to follow workouts to help strengthen your midsection. Note that diet and cardiovascular training will have to be in check for you to see your abs. This article will only focus on the training that goes into building and strengthening your mighty core.
The core is composed of 4 different parts. Below I will discuss where each are located, what its function is and also present a couple exercises you can do to stimulate the muscle.
- Location: Covers the area from sternum all the way down to the pelvis bone. Referred to as the abs or six pack.
- Function: Pulls the upper torso to the hips.
- Exercises: Crunch or sit up.
- Location: Side of the waist.
- 3 layers of Muscle: Internal obliques, transverse obliques and external obliques.
- Function: Tilt and twist the torso.
- Exercises: Side bends and decline oblique crunches.
- Location: Between the side of the rib cage. Comes into play when you flex the torso and twist from side to side.
- Function: Elevation and depression of the ribs.
- Exercise: Truck twists.
- Location: Between front abs and lats. Boxer’s muscle.
- Function: Pulling of the scapula forward and around like in the motion of throwing a punch.
- Exercises: Barbell pull-overs and single arm cable crunches.
The core is made up of primarily fast twitch muscle fibers. Fast twitch muscle fibers are denser than its counterpart the slow twitch muscle fiber, so hard, heavy and explosive bouts of exercise will stimulate this kind of fiber a lot more.
This means that core training should be in the moderate rep range for best growth. No more endless reps of crunches and sit up like you’ve done in the past. Focus on sets in the 8-15 rep range.
Now that you understand about what muscles make up the core, their function, location and the rep range needed to stimulate them, let’s give you some workouts to help you get that strong muscular core.
All exercises should be performed in perfect form because bad form or habits that you start now will follow you and will lead to lack of progress or worse off injury in the future. Many, if not all of the exercises will be new to you. So make sure that you use the exercise guide on Muscle 7 Strength to help you with your form.
Below are 5 of my favorite core strengthening workouts.
5 Core/Abs Strengthening Workouts
Core/Abs workout one.
- Cable Crunches 3x8-12 30-45 Sec Rest.
- Bodyweight Side Bends 3x12 on each side 30 Sec Rest.
- Crunches 3x12 30 Sec Rest.
- Seated Leg Tucks 3x12-15 45 Sec Rest.
Core/Abs workout two.
- Seated Barbell Twists 3x8-12 on each side 30 Sec Rest.
- Air Bike Crunches 3x12 30-45 Sec Rest.
- Crunches Hands Over Head 3x12-15 30 Sec Rest.
- Flat Bench Lying Leg Raises 3x8 30 Sec Rest.
Core/Abs workout three.
- Frog Sit Ups 3x12-15 30 Sec Rest.
- Jack Knife Sit Ups 3x12-15 30 Sec Rest.
- Oblique Crunches on the Floor 3x12 30 Sec Rest.
- Reverse Crunch 3x12 30 Sec Rest.
Core/Abs workout four.
- Russian Twist 3x12-15 30 Sec Rest.
- Ab Crunch Machine 3x8-12 30-45 Sec Rest.
- Barbell Side Bends 3x8 on each side 30 sec rest.
- Crunch - Legs on Exercise Ball 3x8-12 30 Sec Rest.
Core/Abs workout five.
- Decline Crunch 3x8-12 30-45 Sec Rest.
- Dumbbell Side Bends 3x8 on each side 30 Sec Rest.
- Exercise Ball Crunch 3x12-15 30 Sec Rest.
- Leg Pull-in 3x12 30 Sec Rest.
There you have it 5 core strengthening workouts. I like to work my core every 2-3 days. Try rotating these 5 workouts into your workout split. These workouts sure will help you get that strong muscular core you are looking for. Remember quality over quantity with the core. Stick with the programs listed above and you will be just fine. Good Luck.
Alex Stewart is the Sales Manager for Betancourt Nutrition Supplements. For more information on Betancourt Nutrition supplements, click here.
hi guys , I was just wondering do you rotate these workouts through 5 different days or do you complete the 5 in one day and also I was wondering is there any supplement that can shred your body?
Most of the people who workout just concentrate on leg raises, reverse crunches, stick twisting, crunches but totally forget doing core. Which is the basic of a good midsection. Thanks for sharing. Really loved it
Should I do all of these in one day or over the course of the week?
Pick one workout and work it into one of your training days.
Seeing those abs is 80% diet and 20% training. Unless your nutrition is in check it doesn't really matter what core exercises you're doing. The article doesn't address diet at all.
I agree with Augie to some extent. Being able to see muscular striations in the abdominal regions (or any region for that matter) really comes down to body fat percentage, which this article does not address, and having "six pack" in the title is a bit deceiving. While core strength is essential and has many positives in daily life, it can be developed sufficiently through full body strength training routines that engage the core muscles for stability in a variety of exercises. A combination of diet and the right exercise routine will help reduce body fat and allow individuals to see definition in the muscle under the adipose layer in the hypodermis. The reason abdominal definition is such a challenge is because the body naturally stores adipose tissue in areas that are most efficient energy-wise (abdominal, chest, buttox etc.). e.g. your body doesn't store fat in extremities first because it would take too much energy to move your extremities around all day long if they had the additional burden of moving an extra few pounds of fat. Core specific training is advantageous for some people, but isolation exercises are likely not be needed to attain a six pack. Happy training!!
my family and friends are complaining that i have increased the tummy area very badly, so i request kindly give me the best workout formula , so that i can gain back the shapes of my muscles .
Which workout is the best (if you had to choose one) for a beginner?
I have a flabby protruding stomache from 3 csections will I ever get my six pack back is theexercise program. Good for me
u have to build in alot of cardio, this alone will not get u six a pack, fat has to be burned off
I have a very weak core due to an old back injury. I have been given the all clear to start training again, and core strength needs to be a focus. I have been told that the transverse abdominus is crucial for me to hugely improve. Do you have any advice in this regard?
Cool read, defiantly a must read for a begginer.
what is 3*8 and 3*12 ?
the 3 is referring to the number of sets you are performing and the 8 or 12 is referring to the number of reps in each set.
Do each excercise 3 times each time do between 8-12 reps.
There are not many workout plans for working the abs solely based on using free weights. What modifications should I make to the core strengthening workouts so that I can achieve the same workout using dumbells?
You could use 25 or 45 pound plates as resistance.
i been working on my cardio for a couple of months now, i think its time to start working on my core. Thanks for the article, does this website has an andriod app?
Not at this time, sorry.
Finally a new article! Thanks!