Core Strength Exercises -- with Free Workouts

There are many myths about core strength exercises. In these pages, we reveal the truths and dispel the myths. This is about the real way to develop six-pack abs.

This type of training is designed to improve the stability and function of your midsection. While improving the functional strength of your midsection, you'll improve how you look and how you feel.

What's the number one patient complaint in America? It's lower back pain.

If you condition your midsection properly, you will not only look better, but also you will decrease your risk of suffering from lower back pain.

You'll also decrease your risk of neck pain, ruptured disks, strained muscles, and sprained ligaments.

So, let's find out more.

Myths about core training

There are too many myths about core strength exercises even to mention here. Here is just a sample of the many falsehoods:

a. The abs and other muscles of your midsection are different from the muscle tissues of your other body parts.

b. Sit-ups are the best of the core strength exercises.

c. If you do enough crunches, you don't need to do any other exercises for your midsection.

d. Having a well-defined midsection such as a "six-pack" is more about genetics than exercising and eating properly.

e. Twists and side bends are the only midsection exercises you need to do to reduce "love handles."

f. Midsection exercises done on machines are superior to other kinds of core strength exercises.

g. "Fat-burning" supplements are superior to exercising and eating properly for defining your midsection.

h. You need to go on a starvation diet or eat fat-free foods to define your midsection.

Eliminating some muscle groups

Think of all the different muscles of your midsection that enable you to twist in either direction, bend forward, bend backward, and bend to either side. Frankly, there are too many to consider as just one muscle group.

So, trainers typically separate out some of those muscles such as the spinal erectors (erector spinae), the lats (latissimus dorsi), the iliopsoas, and others from the midsection muscles.

We do the same. You'll find the best exercises to strengthen those muscles (such as deadlifts, squats, and rows) considered in other sections of our website.

Primarily, core exercises target the transverse abdominis, the internal and external obliques, and the rectus abdominis.

A key difference about core training

Please notice an important difference between the muscles of your midsection and some of your other muscles.

When you bend and then straighten an arm at the elbow or a leg at the knee, your arm or leg moves through one plane of motion.

It's a simple motion: some muscle fibers (such as your biceps) contract to move the limb and then opposing muscles (such as your triceps) contract to move it back where it was.

Your midsection does not move in such a simple way. Unlike your arms or legs, your midsection can rotate and bend in a full circle instead of just through one plane of motion.

After a moment's thought, you'll realize that this simple insight is directly relevant to the effectiveness of midsection exercises.

This is why training your midsection is not simple. Instead of one effective exercise, there are dozens of effective midsection exercises!

Training your midsection

Dozens of effective midsection exercises are good news. Yes, it does mean that you'll have to learn plenty of new movements if you want to train your midsection effectively.

However, it also means that you never need to be stuck using just a few core exercises when training your midsection.

If you regularly change the midsection exercises that you are using, your midsection routine will never become dull.

If you have never trained your midsection with endless crunches or side bends, this may not seem like a big deal—until you hit the gym!

How to master these exercises

We face on this website a similar problem concerning weight training technique. The subject matter is too comprehensive and detailed to be presented effectively here on the pages of our site.

We solved that problem by recommending that you purchase one of McRobert's books on weight training technique. We freely advised them because they are currently the best books available on that topic.

Similarly, the subject matter of training your midsection is too comprehensive and detailed to be presented effectively here.

Core exercise pages to help you further

To help you further with your core strength exercises, see the following pages on our website.

Best Ab Exercises

Core Exercises

See also 'LOSE BELLY FAT FAST,' which is the first page in this section of our website. You will find the link to that page at the very bottom of this page.

Recommended books for core strength exercises

The books are available at some good bookstores, especially and, usually in Kindle and paperback form, sometimes as hardbacks. If you found the core strength exercises informative, these books are excellent further reading suggestions.

  • David Grisaffi's Firm & Flatten Your Abs Forever
  • Mark Lauren and Joshua Clark's You Are Your Own Gym
  • Stuart McRobert's Build Muscle Lost Fat Look Great

On most pages of our website, we aim to recommend the very best books available according to the topic of each page. We endeavor to make the best suggestions based on experience and our many years of work and research in the fields of health and fitness. We suggest only books that we have read and can wholly commend.

A link to a useful external video for those who might want to save it.

This completes the page. We do hope you found the core stength exercises useful and that it will help on your journey to health, strength, or weight loss.

› Core Strength