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What Exercises Will Get You A Abs?

No one will dispute the fact that you need to train your core, the general area that connects all of your fleshy stuff from below the chest and above the waist, all the way around. The core provides a stable base to produce, reduce, and redirect force with the limbs of the body. But some people will argue that directly training the anterior core—or front, which includes the rectus abdominis (the "six pack")—is unnecessary because big and heavy compound movements like the squat and deadlift already work it sufficiently.

Anterior Core Training

I argue that you need to specifically target the anterior core. I believe that it’s part of what has made me a strong and healthy deadlifter. When I train clients in our gym—The Movement Minneapolis—it’s not at all uncommon to have two full movements dedicated to some sort of anterior or lateral—or side (think obliques)—core stability training, in addition to squats and deads. It’s a primary, fundamental part of the training.

Here are the main types of core movements that we rotate through in our programming at Movement:

1. Anterior core dynamic: exercises that generate movement through the core, primarily in flexion. Things like crunches, weighted, standing crunches, leg raises and leg lowers fit into this category. Yes, we do crunches. Believe it or not the spine is designed to flex and I believe it should be trained in ways it can move.

2. Anterior core static: These exercises are mainly movements that resist motion such as planks, farmers walks, weighted planks and body saws.

3. Rotational core dynamic: These are movements that require a twisting or rotating movement of the spine. They both generate the rotation and also stabilize. We favor Russian twists, Palloff twists and windshield wipers.

4. Rotational core static: These movements focus on preventing rotation through the spine. A palloff press is the most classic example, in which you’re alternating between a short lever trying to rotate you and a longer lever trying even harder to make you rotate. The goal here is to resist the movement. Side planks also align closely with this category as an anti-lateral-flexion movement, as do single-sided carries and deadlifts.

These are some exercises that outlines the types of moves that doing have challenged us by,

 Cable Side Bend

The Pike

 Weighted Crunch

Overhead Crunch

 Ball Planks

Windshield Wipers

Barbell rollout

Bench leg raise