Most likely, millions of articles are written about the core, torso, functional strength, six pack abs, stability and more. So why write another one talking about (what we think are) the best core exercises? Well maybe it gives you a clearer view.
After all, it’s very difficult to see the forest for the trees in the fitness industry and one of the missions at FitGuana is to make it simpler, more clear and more straightforward so you have to spend less time figuring it out and more time working on your health!
First of all, the core consists of more than just a six pack. The front part consists of 4 abdominal muscle groups and the rear part has 2 muscle groups. The hip flexors, adductors and abductors also play a crucial role in the core’s function. All together, these muscle groups can act as a stabilizer to balance out your body (and keep it safe), transfer force or make movement happen by itself. So yes indeed, your core is more than just six pack abs to show off during summer season.
The main functions of the core are most definitely stabilizing and transferring force. However, most people train the core by making it the center of movement (meaning the core makes the movement happen by itself), such as crunches. This greatly limits the muscle groups you train and the intensity. To activate the deeper core muscles, you need to train them for their primary purposes. Your overall strengths and performance is limited by the core. The stronger your core is, the more force you can transfer through your entire body and the less likely you are to get injured. That is why many complex movements are so functional for core strength. Squats, deadlifts, pushups, kettle bell swings etcetera make the core be a dynamic partner and stabilizer, which ensures a healthier and stronger core.
If you do want to concentrate solely on your core, here are our five favorite isolation exercises:
Leg Raises + Variations
Most importantly, don’t forget about your complex lifts during your workout. These will activate the deep core muscle groups and do as much for your core as these isolation exercises will!
By Sander Vanacker for FitGuana
Sander Vanacker is a personal trainer, CEO of Bring Back Nature, Inc. and founder of FitGuana. He believes in improving health and wellness by incorporating more nature into our lives, being active and spending more time outdoors.