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HHUGHES71 SparkPoints: (104,324)
Fitness Minutes: (51,729)
Posts: 5,100
11/24/13 7:37 P

Crunches and planks

JULIA1154 Posts: 1,783
11/24/13 5:55 P

I do more core work than straight ab work. Love planks, hate bicycle crunches with a passion!

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
11/24/13 5:45 P

With my beginner clients, I focus more on core exercises (abs, obliques and back) as well as balance and stabilization exercises so I can safely progress them to more challenging exercises. Most movement emanates from the core so I believe it is important to make sure it is solid. Doing dead-lifts, squats, and barbell shoulder presses with a weak core is just asking for injury. I avoid full sit-ups because most people already have overactive hip flexors from sitting all day.

As others stated, I now get my core work through my regular workouts but still get plenty from teaching group exercise classes.

LADYREDCOMET SparkPoints: (106,823)
Fitness Minutes: (50,083)
Posts: 2,330
11/23/13 10:33 A

I do, mostly because my core currently isn't strong enough to do some of the yoga poses I'm interested in learning. I do core/ab/back exercises a couple of days a week, just like my other strength exercises.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
11/23/13 6:50 A

Not much. I have sit ups and back extensions in my current program but only do them once a week. My core gets plenty of work stabilizing when I perform my main lifts.

SHARON46 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (96,050)
Posts: 7,314
11/23/13 6:45 A


BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,570)
Fitness Minutes: (72,807)
Posts: 2,075
11/22/13 5:58 P

interesting, thank you for your help. that makes a lot of sense for me.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,452
11/22/13 5:49 P

The abdominis rectis (abs) is just one muscle involved in bending forward. The 'core' is a much broader group of muscles in the torso. Straightening or arching the back, bending side to side, or twisting will use a whole range of core muscles other than the abs.

An analogy would be the difference between the quads (thigh muscles) and the entire lower body group - quads, hamstrings (back of thigh), glutes (butt), calves, etc.

Like all strength training, you should rest the core 48 hours between sessions. There are myths out there that you can allegedly work the core every day, but the truth is that core muscle fibers recover the same way as muscles in any other part of the body, and you should rest 48 hours between sessions.

Planks are one of the best core exercise available, as it works a whole range of core muscles, not just the abs. Add in something like bicycle crunches for the twisting motion, and you are pretty much done with the core in just those two moves. Core work does NOT burn belly fat, so a 30 or 40 minute core workout is ineffective and a waste of time.

Zorbs makes a good point - squats, deadlifts, pushups and pullups might classically be thought of as lower body and upper body moves, but also work the core. Interestingly, recent research suggests that of all the exercises you can possibly do, pull-ups are actually the exercise that work the abs the hardest.


OLGA18 SparkPoints: (23,570)
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Posts: 1,213
11/22/13 2:46 P

Yes I do core work. There are TONS of non-traditional moves to work the whole core.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,570)
Fitness Minutes: (72,807)
Posts: 2,075
11/22/13 2:20 P

thanx. thats interesting.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (197,069)
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Posts: 15,854
11/22/13 1:20 P

Nope, I brace my core when doing my other compound strength exercises. My core is far stronger than when I used to do 30 min of crunches and other stuff several times a week.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
11/22/13 1:19 P

I do a bit of core work but a lot of it comes from the fact that compound exercises (squats, pushups, pullups, etc) work my core a lot already. What I'm trying to do now is build up to doing planches (planks with your feet off the floor) and L-sits (hands on a surface, feet out in front not touching the floor). I may not ever be able to do either of them but the process is definitely working my core a lot.

BRENNA84 SparkPoints: (54,570)
Fitness Minutes: (72,807)
Posts: 2,075
11/22/13 1:05 P

do you do core or ab work? both or different (still figuring out how they're different)?

do you do it everyday? or a couple of days a week.

I am experimenting and am new to it as I have a weak core and trying to start small here.

would love to know whats worked for other people

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