Developing Your Core

Despite the weather in this country, making it sometimes impossible to tell, the summer holiday period is now well and truly upon us! As individuals get ready to jet set to exotic places far and wide, one of the most common questions that seems to arise is; ‘How can I strengthen my core muscles and develop a six pack?’ This article aims to provide you with 5 top tips that can be applied to each and every gym session, with the end goal of strengthening your core muscles and building the foundations of a solid six pack: 

  1. Always activate your core: Previous research has indicated that if you concentrate on tensing your abdominal muscles whilst undertaking all physical exercise, then you can enhance the activation of your deeper core muscles extensively. During this research investigation, tensing of the abdominal muscles during a squatting exercise increased muscular activation by as much as 170% in certain individuals.
  2. Consider your workout routine: Core muscles should be activated each time you complete any form of physical exercise and as a result, specific abdominal exercises should be left until the end of your session. The reason for this is during complex exercises such as squats, your abdominal muscles will activate anyway to provide stability and it’s in your interest to keep them fresh and not in a state of fatigue.
  3. Keep your muscles guessing: It is important to constantly shock your muscles by continuously altering your exercises and routines. The abdominal muscles are no different. The 3 types of movements available to target your abdominal muscles are; flexion and extension, rotational and static contractions such as the plank. Try to utilise all movement types within a single abdominal workout and keep those muscles guessing.
  4. Apply a load: Abdominal muscles like other muscles within the body have the ability to shift a load. When completing stomach crunches or leg raises try adding a load to the exercise and really make those abdominal muscles work. This can be as simple as holding in dumbbell in your hands or applying some ankle weights to your legs. Abdominal muscles are relatively strong, so put them to the test and see them respond.
  5. Never forget the plank: If your gym sessions are restricted and you don’t have endless time at the end of a workout to complete abdominal exercises, then consider performing the plank rather than endless crunches. In an ideal world crunches would be performed, however, if you have insufficient time then completing the plank for 30-60 seconds is one of the most effective stomach exercises available and can bring about significant results.
Conclusion

Outlined above are 5 top tips which can be consistently applied to your gym sessions in an attempt to strengthen your core muscles and build the foundations of a solid six pack. Don’t forget to regularly check back for further articles detailing specific abdominal exercises to get those muscles working. As a final point it’s important to remember, as with all weightlifting exercises, results won’t be instant, but if you apply the above principles to a thorough workout plan and healthy lifestyle then you have the potential to make significant developments.

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