Both guys and gals strive to have a strong toned midsection but very few of them achieve it. Try these 5 core workout programs to get a tight, strong core.

Main Arms | Back | Chest | Core | Legs | Shoulders

Six-pack, eight-pack (genetic freaks), washboard, whatever you want to call it, your core is the centerpiece for any muscular physique. It is the eye-catcher for the opposite sex.

A muscular and well-defined core shows both strengthand health. Both guys and gals strive to have a strong, toned midsection, but very few of them ever achieve getting one. If you have been looking for the perfect program to get you the tight, strong core you always looked for, look no farther.

In this article, we go over the basic anatomy of what makes up the core, and list five easy-to-follow workouts to help strengthen your midsection. Diet andcardiovascular training will have to be in check for you to see your abs. This article will only focus on the training that goes into building and strengthening your mighty core.

The core is composed of four different parts. Below, I will discuss where each is located, what its function is in the body, and also a couple exercises you can do to stimulate the muscle.

Abdominals

Rectus Abdominus
  • Location: Covers the area from sternum all the way down to the pelvis bone.
  • Function: Pulls the upper torso to the hips
  • Exercises: Crunch or Sit-up
Oblique
  • Location: Side of the waist.
    • Internal Obliques
    • Transverse Obliques
    • External Obliques
  • Function: Tilt and twist the torso
  • Exercises: Side Bends and Decline Oblique Crunches
Intercostals
  • Location: Between the side of the rib cage. It comes into play when you flex the torso and twist from side to side.
  • Function: Elevation and depression of the ribs
  • Exercise: Air Bike
Serratus
  • Location: Between front abs and lats.
  • Function: Pulling of the scapula forward and around like in the motion of throwing a punch
  • Exercises: Barbell Pullovers and Cable Crunches

Rep Ranges

The core is made up of primarily fast-twitch muscle fibers. Fast-twitch muscle fibers are more dense than their counterparts (the slow-twitch muscle fibers. Hence, hard, heavy, and explosive bouts of exercise will stimulate fast-twitch fibers a lot more.

This means that core training should be in the moderate rep range for best growth. No more endless reps of crunches and sit-ups like you've done in the past. Focus on sets in the 8-15 rep range.

Now that you understand which muscles make up the core, their function, location and the rep range needed to stimulate them, let's give you some workouts to help you get that strong muscular core.

All exercises should be performed in perfect form because bad form or habits you start now will follow you and will lead to lack of progress or injury in the future. Many, if not all, the exercises will be new to you. So make sure you use the Exercise Guide on Bodybuilding.com to help you with your form.

Core Strengthening Workout Programs

Sample Core Workout 1
1
Cable Crunch
3 sets, 12-15 reps (30-45 seconds rest)
2
Barbell Side Bend
3 sets, 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
3
Crunches
3 sets, 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
4
Reverse Crunch
3 sets, 12-15 reps (45 seconds rest)

Cable Crunch

Sample Core Workout 2
1
Seated Barbell Twist
3 sets, 8-12 reps (30 seconds rest)
2
Air Bike
3 sets, 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
3
Crunch - Hands Overhead
3 sets, 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
4
Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise
3 sets, 8 reps (30 seconds rest)
Sample Core Workout 3
1
Frog Sit-Ups
3 sets, 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
2
Jackknife Sit-Up
3 sets, 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
3
Oblique Crunches
3 sets, 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
4
Reverse Crunch
3 sets, 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
Sample Core Workout 4
1
Russian Twist
3 sets, 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
2
Ab Crunch Machine
3 sets, 8-12 reps (30-55 seconds rest)
3
Barbell Side Bend
1 set, 8 reps (each side, 30 seconds rest)
4
Crunch - Legs On Exercise Ball
3 sets, 8-12 reps (30 seconds rest)
Sample Core Workout 5
1
Decline Crunch
3 sets, 8-12 reps (30-45 seconds rest)
2
Dumbbell Side Bend
3 sets, 8 reps (30 seconds rest)
3
Exercise Ball Crunch
3 sets, 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
4
Flat Bench Leg Pull-In
3 sets, 12 reps (30 seconds rest)

Conclusion

There you have it: five core strengthening workouts. I like to work my core every 2-3 days. Try rotating these 5 workouts into your workout split. These workouts sure will help you get that strong muscular core you are looking for.

Remember quality over quantity with the core. Stick with the programs listed above and you will be just fine. As always if you have any questions don't hesitate to drop me an email.

Main Arms | Back | Chest | Core | Legs | Shoulders

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