Bodybuilding relies on weightlifting, which, in its turn, relies on having a strong core. The rest of the muscles, the bones and ligaments would not handle the weight the same way if there wouldn’t be sufficient strength in the middle section of the body.
A tight midsection will influence your workouts considerably, not to mention its undeniable appeal. To strengthen it, you need a clever training program. This doesn’t have to be a complicated one. Let your main focus be core stability, which is different from power. You will learn exercises that coordinate the muscles to work together for improved stability, which, in turn, is going to improve your whole training.
The Core in Bodybuilding
The core is made of groups of muscles that will power many actions. These consist of the abdominals and the lower back mostly. The dense fibers of these muscles require heavy and hard bouts of exercise. The moderate reps range is the best for core strengthening. Ideally, go for sets of 8 to 15 reps but forget about the never-ending sit-ups and crunches.
The Core Exercises
Here are the best workouts that we recommend for the core:
- Crunches and Cable crunches
- Side bends
- Reverse crunches
- Air bike crunches
- Barbell twists
- Hands over head crunches
- Oblique crunches
- Russian twists
- Dumbbell side bends
These are the basic types, but you may diversify each and group them accordingly into sets of exercises. At the gym, you may use the ab crunch machine as well. Remind yourself to work the core muscles every 2-3 days.
Training just to get a six-pack isn’t what we are looking for when we aim to strengthen the core. It’s more than this. The six-pack is only good for the image. The foundation refers to many more muscles than these ones which are the most visible. The exercises listed above must be incorporated to your training if you want to train your core correctly and make it strong and stable. To add more challenging moves, try the following ones, too:
- Suspension rollouts
- Plank to opposite raise
- Cross body carry
The stronger your core gets, the more benefits you have. One of these is that you will be avoiding a lot of injuries. When you have increased stability, the body remains unchanged even though you apply forces to a specific area. When under weight, you will not get off balance. It will be easier for your body to adjust its posture.
Do Not Forget To Include the Cardio
To complete your core strengthening routine, don’t forget about the cardio. The most suitable type is the High Intensity Interval Training cardio. This combines intensity and short duration, which ensures that the muscles are protected and don’t start to break down, as it would happen with regular, low intensity and long cardio. Do tuck jumps, box jumps, springs and bounds, each for 30 seconds, followed by a 60-second light jog, with no breaks.
You will soon start to feel the benefits of a greater stability, of better coordination and strength, which increases your performance dramatically.
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