As fitness coaches, we often get asked the question, “how do I get a 6 pack” or “what is the best core exercise?”. I am going to try to unpack this and help guide you in your fitness journey! I am going to start by saying, almost every exercise is a great core exercise!
What are the best core exercises? Any exercise that requires you to stabilize your midline. You can think of your midline as your neck down to your pelvis. Now, the lifts that would require you to create the biggest isometric contraction would be compound movements. Think of compound movements as ones that require you to lift with multiple joints. Bicep curls would be considered a single joint movement, where a deadlift would use multiple joints. When you use more joints in a movement, you are able to lift more weight, which means the demand put on your midline will be greater as well. So, you then know that the contraction of all the muscles surrounding that midline will be greater. Here is a list of some of the best core exercises you can do:
You get the idea, the options are endless. If you are unsure how to safely perform the movements listed above, use this link to schedule a meeting with us and we can get you set up with a personal trainer.
We also cannot forget that we have rotational muscles that need to be worked as well. Unilateral work is highly beneficial for this type of exercise. This can include throwing, single-arm farmer carries, and single-arm/ single leg work. Our bodies were created to move in many different planes of motion. Look for exercises that help you live a healthier and more functional life, and the byproduct will usually be aesthetically pleasing.
That doesn’t mean that situps, toes to bar or movements that mimic the flexion and extension of the midline don’t have their place. These are great for getting a contraction in your abdominal muscles in dynamic motion. Life requires us to be able to move our spine and midline from extension and flexion position a lot. Think of sitting out of bed or getting up off the floor. So these type of movements have their place. Often times, however, we solely look at these as the end all be all of core exercises. Those compound lifts are vital for creating that bulletproof midline.
If you are more interested in the aesthetic look of the “6 pack”. That comes down to the nutrition aspect of fitness. If you are doing all the exercises listed above and you want to see your hard work, it usually comes down to what you are eating as well. If you are interested in learning more about nutrition, schedule your free nutrition consult. Our goal is to create healthy eating habits that are sustainable for you.
Look further than doing a 1,000 situps a day and start picking up some heavier weight and start doing anti-rotation or rotational exercises to get that strong core! Become more functional in your movement choice and you will get closer to reaching your genetic potential.
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