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Core Workout Tips

Ever wonder what makes a good core workout?  Does a core workout have to be different than a regular weight loss workout?  Nope. 

By: Ed Scow, NSCA-CPT: Certified Fitness & Nutrition Expert to the True Superheroes - Busy Moms & Dads and author of Fat Loss To Go

"Dude…can you make me a core workout program?"core workout tips

First, I hate being called "dude" by random people. I don’t know if it’s my disdain for Jersey Shore, or that I’m just a prickly turd, but it bugs me, but not as bad as "bro."

I accommodated this wise and wonderful gentleman because he was a friend, which is why I overlooked the "dude" reference, but we had to go over a few things first.

This guy, we’ll call him Scott, was looking for a specific type of program – core workout program – but what he really wanted was to lose his gut and get a little stronger, but he thought he needed a bunch of core exercises in order to get that done.

You don’t.

I have a basic philosophy that pretty much all workouts should really be considered core workouts.

Why?

Because the exercises chosen should use as much of your body possible, which includes the abs, core, stomach, or whatever other term you’d like to use.

Planks are commonly considered to be one of the best core exercises and I strongly disagree.

I find a common Plank boring. Holding a single position for upwards of 90 seconds, or more, sounds to me like sitting through a Happy Days marathon on Nick At Nite, which I don’t think even exists anymore – so much for a witty reference.

I’d much rather do different push-up variations, burpees, Turkish Get-ups (or halves), or any of the Plank Extension variations I’ve shown you than hold a Plank.

Take this video for example where I show you how to turn ANY workout into a core workout and show you two exercises for core strength.

Simple and Effective Core Workout Tips

 

Did that make sense?

Aside from showing you two awesome exercises for core strength and stability, I also really wanted to hammer home that an overall fat loss program shouldn’t exclude abs, or core, exercises; nor should a workout designed specifically for core strength exclude things that will help strip the fat off your stomach (and everywhere else).

They can, and should, work together.

Here are a few other abs exercise ideas to include in your program…

1) Turkish Get-up – this exercise is far more complex than I can share in a few sentences, so be sure to head to Youtube for a tutorial, or better yet hire a trainer. What I can tell you is that when done properly, the Turkish Get-up is one of the best all around exercises there is. It not only works your core like bonkers, but works your shoulders, legs, back…well pretty much everything.

2) Plank Extensions – Get into a Plank position and then alternate extending your arms. Make sure you hold your body in a normal "plank" position so that the only part of you that’s moving is your arms. This action makes one side of your core work a little harder to keep your body upright, plus it works your shoulders and upper back a bit more too.

3) Medicine Ball Touch & Hop – this is not only a great core exercise, but it’s a great all around weight loss exercise. The reason I include it as a core activity is that holding your core ‘strong’ while touching the ball, raising up and jumping, in one fluid motion is great for your low back.

4) Dumbbell or Kettlebell Swing – This is one of the most basic exercises with the KB, but can also be done with a heavy dumbbell, although it’s a bit more cumbersome. It’s an excellent exercise for core strength, and weight loss.

5) Plank Walkout – Get into a normal "Push-up Plank" position on your hands and toes, brace those abs, then walk your hands out a few steps, hold that for 3-5 seconds and return your hands to the start. Continue on for 4-6 reps. Make sure you keep your hips down…the only movement should be from your arms.

If you’re smart, and I know you are, you are wondering if you can put all 5 of those exercises, plus the two from the video, into one workout and the answer is "Yes!!"

You can pair ‘em up into supersets or put them all together into one big circuit. Whatever floats your boat.

If it were me, I’d probably break them into groups of 3 and do 7-minute circuits with limited rest. This may decrease the amount of weight you can use, but that’s okay.

Just make sure you always stay focused on your form.

Whenever you’re doing a workout, whether it’s for core strength and stability or weight loss, you should ALWAYS focus on your abs.

Keep them "In and Tight" at all times, then whenever an exercise calls for extra strength, stability or flexion, work them harder.

Make sense?

If you’d like to see a couple other videos, including workouts, that demonstrate other core exercises, click the links below:

Quick Abs Workout

10-Minute Workout For Abs

Plank Exercise Variations

I hope you enjoyed the video and core exercise tips and tricks and can put it all to good use.

Trust me when I tell you that a quality workout program could also be called a Core Workout Program…but it has to be designed properly.

 

If you found this article and video useful, I'd really appreciate you doing me a favor and clicking the "Like" button below.  Thank you! 

 

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The preceding article was written by Ed Scow, aka "The Fit Dad". To learn more about Ed's story, click here.

To watch a sample 10-minute workout video, click here.

To discover Ed's 'Top Fat Fighting Foods', click here to read an interesting article.

To watch another sample 10-minute workout video, click here.

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