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.