5 Core Workouts For A Tight Midsection - A Beginner's Guide!

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.

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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 strength and 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 and cardiovascular 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 of 12-15 reps (30-45 seconds rest)
Cable Crunch Cable Crunch

2

Barbell Side Bend

3 sets of 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
Barbell Side Bend Barbell Side Bend

3

Crunches

3 sets of 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
Crunches Crunches

4

Reverse Crunch

3 sets of 12-15 reps (45 seconds rest)
Reverse Crunch Reverse Crunch

Sample Core Workout 2
1

Seated Barbell Twist

3 sets of 8-12 reps (30 seconds rest)
Seated Barbell Twist Seated Barbell Twist

2

Air Bike

3 sets of 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
Air Bike Air Bike

3

Crunch - Hands Overhead

3 sets of 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
Crunch - Hands Overhead Crunch - Hands Overhead

4

Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

3 sets of 8 reps (30 seconds rest)
Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

Sample Core Workout 3
1

Frog Sit-Ups

3 sets of 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
Frog Sit-Ups Frog Sit-Ups

2

Jackknife Sit-Up

3 sets of 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
Jackknife Sit-Up Jackknife Sit-Up

3

Oblique Crunches

3 sets of 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
Oblique Crunches Oblique Crunches

4

Reverse Crunch

3 sets of 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
Reverse Crunch Reverse Crunch

Sample Core Workout 4
1

Russian Twist

3 set of 12-15 reps, with 30 seconds rest
Russian Twist Russian Twist

2

Ab Crunch Machine

3 set of 8-12 reps, with 30-55 seconds rest
Ab Crunch Machine Ab Crunch Machine

3

Barbell Side Bend

8 reps each side (30 seconds rest)
Barbell Side Bend Barbell Side Bend

4

Crunch - Legs On Exercise Ball

3 set of 8-12 reps (30 seconds rest)
Crunch - Legs On Exercise Ball Crunch - Legs On Exercise Ball

Sample Core Workout 5
1

Decline Crunch

3 sets of 8-12 reps (30-45 seconds rest)
Decline Crunch Decline Crunch

2

Dumbbell Side Bend

3 sets of 8 reps (30 seconds rest)
Dumbbell Side Bend Dumbbell Side Bend

3

Exercise Ball Crunch

3 sets of 12-15 reps (30 seconds rest)
Exercise Ball Crunch Exercise Ball Crunch

4

Flat Bench Leg Pull-In

3 sets of 12 reps (30 seconds rest)
Flat Bench Leg Pull-In Flat Bench Leg Pull-In

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.

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