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Core training vs. abdominal training


You might be thinking that focusing on core training would be most beneficial because it hits the most muscle mass. And you’d be right, it can be. Training your core means working everything that controls your spine and pelvis, teaching it to function as one unit. There are benefits to this both from a functional perspective and for health-based objectives. Working a larger amount of muscle also means you burn more calories and get a greater hormonal response. Both are good things, especially when trying to optimize your overall body chemistry to get lean and build muscle. But your goals are clear, and to get six-pack abs you need to focus on your priorities.

Let’s use an example of trying to build sleeve-popping biceps. If you use “big muscle mass” exercises like pull-ups, sure, your biceps will get a workout. But for most, these exercises alone aren’t enough to put a significant amount of mass on your arms. Pull-ups can form part of the program, but more biceps-focused exercises are essential for reaching your goal of achieving big biceps.

Training for six-pack abs is the same. Core exercises are to your abs as pullups are to your biceps, and ab-focused exercises are the equivalent of the biceps curl. Blending both approaches will produce the best results. Although exercises that are integrated and hit your core as a unit are included in this book, focused ab exercises are also essential for targeting that area. Choose exercises that are core focused based on how effectively they target your abdominals rather than your core overall.

While core training should be used to pursue spinal and pelvic stability, abdominal training is the targeting of four very specific muscles for aesthetic purposes: the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal obliques, and external obliques. Some exercises are more core focused, while others very much isolate your abdominals. Many exercises overlap and can be effective for training both your core and abdominals. Blending these approaches produces the most impressive results.

For exercises for both core and abdominal training, checkout Ultimate Abs.