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How to build a strong core

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Everyone is looking for the best ab-exercise routine for developing strong abdominals. We hear very often about new exercises, fitness classes, products, gadgets or programs promising to sculpt and develop amazing abdominal muscles. And while some of these may offer some good tips to working the core, many are ineffective and may increase the risk of injury.

When I think abdominals I think core because the abdominal muscles and the lower back muscles work together to support the spine. Having a solid core creates a foundation for all activities. These muscles include the rectus abdominis, the transversus abdominis, the muscles of the pelvic floor, the multifidus and the oblique muscles. Proper ‘core strengthening’ techniques, learned from a skilled health professional, can support the combined function of these muscle groups.

Having this in mind, you can target the abdominal muscles by performing isolation exercises if you really focus on the form.

When it comes to working the core, it's all about form, not movement or speed. Instead of racing to reach dozens of repetitions, concentrate on performing each rep in a smooth, controlled manner.

I hope you got the theory, now let's start doing the following exercises!

Reverse Crunch: Lie on your back with your legs up at a 90-degree angle. Bring your knees towards your chest and lower them slowly just above the floor.

Jackknife: Lie with your arms fully extended above your head. Simultaneously bring your arms and legs together.

Scissors: Lie flat on your back. Lift both legs straight up toward the ceiling, continuing to engage your abs and pressing your lower back into the ground. Then slowly scissor your legs, lifting your right leg back up as you lower your left leg down toward the ground.

V-Sit: Lie with your arms by your sides. Simultaneously bring your knees and chest together into a seated position.

An advanced abs exercise is the Dragon Flag performed by Sylvester Stalone in Rocky 4, don't hesitate to watch the film:)

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