Great core exercises would be great if it is only done with physical movement, it needs to be strategically done and the need to incorporate rest and diet into the equation.
Great core exercises do not just work on the abs
Sometime enthusiasm gets the best out of people and they give out their 100 percent best at trying to build more muscle and gain mass by putting maxing out their physical strength at the gym, hoping to become shredded fast and getting those enviable 6-pack abs.
Sorry to tell you this, but even if you start pumping 400 pound weights or running 50 miles everyday but lack proper nutrition to help support your muscle structure, you only end up back from where you started.
The difference between nutrition and eating
But make no mistake, nutrition is different from eating. Nutrition is carefully balancing all the required nutrition your body needs, while eating can just be the act itself, whether it’s with cholesterol-rich foods or healthy ones – eating is simply just eating.
So forget about the saying “Eat Big to Get Big” because instead of gaining mass you just might be getting bigger because of body fat.
Seriously though, the right muscle quality depends on the right quality of food that you feed your body.
The importance of tracking your macros
Simply put, nothing beats the value of full-range healthful nutrition need by the body to help it stay fit or gain muscle mass to make it bigger.
The key to this is to understand the concept. You would not know how much food you need if you do not know how to measure it.
Tracking the amount of macronutrients you need for your body is not really very complicated. It may be a bit overwhelming at first but once you get the nag of it, it would just be easy-peasy- with a little help from technology, of course.
- Install a fitness tracking app. It will measure calories, carbohydrates, fat and proteins which are essential to your quest.
- Weigh yourself as you get up in the morning and write it down.
- Spend a week noting down what you eat every day and at every instance that you do so. Do not change your diet selections. This will help establish a baseline for the first two weeks how your body reacts to the food that you eat. So better stick to the same diet day in and day out.
- Get your weight records at the end of every week for two weeks at the same time of the day.
- If you maintain your weight after two weeks, you can start talking to a coach to help you adjust macros to start gaining mass.
- If you are hoping to gain weight but did not, then you need to increase your calories.
Core strengthening workouts
By now you may have started with your physical workouts already. Focus on a high intensity interval training and core-targeting movements, at the same time sticking to your macros diet.
Remember that as your body continues to burn more proteins and calories, your macro nutrient intake replenishes what was spent, in order for you to be able to get your desired results.
Seated torso rotations
Sit on a chair or bench while holding on to a weight like a kettlebell or plate at chest level and elbows extended outward.
The hips and knees must be close together with feet flat on the floor. Rotate your upper body to one side while maintaining the weighted arms and outstretched elbows.
Do the same rotation to the other side. Perform 4 sets with 18 reps for each set.
Kneeling front press
Fix one end of a resistance band to a rack on your side and kneel on the floor. Extend the hips up to form a straight line from shoulder to knee. Engaging the glutes and core, press the band forward and maintain a straight path for both hands in front of the chest. Pause for a moment then return to the original stance.
Perform for 12 reps then switch to the other side.
Kneeling front raise
Assume the same starting position as the one above. Bring the band upward over the head and lower it in an arch to your legs. Engaging the core, make sure to resist twisting towards the band. Do ten reps then switch to the other side.
Kneeling hip extension
Start with the same kneeling position. Press the band out in front and lock your elbows in place. Slowly sit the ips until the glutes touch the heels of your feet then extend the hips back up. Make sure the band is always at the center and arms are always parallel to the floor.
Press on Swiss Ball
Lay your back on a Swiss Ball and begin to step forward until the head and shoulders touch the ball. Bridge the hips until the torso is parallel to the floor, Grab the band on your side and pull it towards the center of your boy, then do 10 presses.
These workouts are similar to the ab wheel. Just prevent your hips from sagging to the floor as you do the routines.
Start by arching the back up slightly and flex the abs to make sure they are holding firm. Slowly move from your feet in a pushup position
This is a good exercise for cross stability and balance. Starting from a pushup position and make sure the hips are level. Slowly lift one arm and the opposite leg upward then hold on top and return to the starting position. Alternate with the opposite sides and make sure not to twist the body to maintain balance.
Assume a plank position with both feet on a slider. Try to drift forward but keep your body rigid and parallel to the floor.
Swiss Ball Walk
Assume a push up position with both feet placed on a Swiss Ball. Slowly move backwards to let the ball roll from the feet to the torso all while keeping the body straight. Reverse the movement when the ball reaches the stomach.
Same position as on top this time your feet goes on a slider and ask a gym buddy to hold them. Keeping the body rigid, move forward with the feet sliding along.
Standing with the legs apart hold 3 or 5 lb dumbbells on each hand and rotate your body diagonally to one side and reaching to the other side with an upwards motion. Do 12 reps on each side.
Heavy compound lifting
Doing five or six reps of this basic set with considerable weight places stress on the nervous system while at the same time targeting the fast twitch fiber muscles. This is a good thing because with tempo you may be able to determine which muscle fiber to target.
The strongest fibers are those involved with eccentric reps following a three-second negative, no rest at top or bottom followed by an explosive rep. This can help increase strength and tap into the inner fast-twitch fibers.
The clean, snatch and jerk together with all the many variations and movement derivatives can be the most impacting form of weight training that can help accelerate maximum loads in bursts of power and give you results.
The science behind this is that instead of subjecting your mass to traditional muscular fatigue, the quick burst of activity and weight excited your central nervous system.
The action activates the nervous system more efficiently and fire up the fast-twitch muscle fibers to make them more responsive compared to your usual weight training and being able to drop the bar once you complete the lift causes no added muscle damage from the reps and can even increase workout volume and recovery.
Hanging Leg Hip Raise
This is one of the most popular, but also one of the most physically demanding exercises that give optimum effects when working both the abs and the core.
The hanging leg hip raise involves the use of a pull-up bar, since this will be crucial to sustaining the entire stability and static contraction of the core muscles, while the body weight, knees and legs provide the resistance.
Grab hold of the pull up bar with both hands and suspend the body with the legs hanging above ground. Try flexing the hips and lift the knees to waist level, pause, then flex the waist as the knees are being lifted to the chest, pause again, then start bringing the legs and waist down to the starting position.
Lie flat on your back and lift both legs up towards the ceiling with both arms spread apart on the floor. Begin by twisting your lower body to the right without letting your legs touch the floor, then slowly move back up. Do the same movement on the other side. Repeat the movement 12 to 15 times for each side.
Incline Oblique Crunches.
Similar to the hanging leg hip raise, this exercise adds resistance with the use of the body weight for a more pronounced effect, using two types of muscle contractions that provides added tension to in the abdomen throughout the routine.
Lie flat on an inclined bench with both feet planted firmly on the ground and hands placed behind the back of the head.
Lift the upper torso to a crunch as you exhale and halfway into the crunch, move your right elbow towards the left knee, making sure that the obliques and abs are also twisting on the same direction.