"Can we do some stomach exercises?!"

If I said to you, “what exercises work your core, or your abs or your stomach“, what would be your thought?

Crunches? Situps? Plank? Ab Rollers?

Sometimes I get asked at the end of our PT sessions, or have over heard at the gym “Can we do some stomach work?!”, or “we haven’t done any stomach exercises, let’s do some now!”

I give the same answer, til I’m blue in the face, but it still keeps happening!!

“You know those lunges with overhead press, the pullups, the renegade rows, the pressups, the mountain climbers, the squats? You know I keep reminding you, pull that belly button in, brace your core?!”

Well hey! Guess what?! You’ve worked your core, your abs, your stomach, and a hell of a lot more muscles, with all of those functional exercises!! If those muscles didn’t work during the exercises, your hips would have sagged, your lower back would have folded like jelly, your hips and knees would have buckled, and you would be a mess on the floor!

Your ‘core’ is always working! It is your central pillar, that keeps you upright, and assists with balance. By focusing on the above exercises, and bracing your abs/core further you are engaging those muscles to further support you, and whether you know it or not, they are getting a great workout!

It’s only people who aren’t in the know, who feel they have to finish, or sometimes even start (which is worse, as your core acts as a stabilising set of muscles for your body, and if they are fatigued at the beginning of your workout, you will not be very productive and risk injury!) their workouts with “abs” exercises, like situps, more situps and ‘specific abs’ exercises.

Sure, if you want to hit your core further, add in some cable rotations, wood chops, sledgehammers etc, but make sure they are at the end, and aren’t the main focus of your workout.

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