Looking for a tighter tummy? Exercises that often come to mind when aiming to trim our mid-section involve lying on the floor performing endless crunch variations. Is this really all that effective?
Contrary to popular belief, the abs and core are not quite the same thing. The “core” is not just the abdominal muscles. Let’s compare the lovely six-pack muscles & what the core really entails.
“6 Pack Muscles” =
- Rectus Abdominis – Main strip of muscles that originates at the bottom of the sternum down to the pelvis. These can appear as rows of four, six, or even eight depending on the individual.
- Obliques – Outer definition of the abs that allow us to rotate & bend side to side.
- Transversus Abdominis – This muscle is invisible to the eye as it lies beneath the Rectus Abdominus. This muscle is essential to core stabilization & creating the appearance of a slimmer waistline. Unfortunately, it is all too common to neglect targeting this muscle.
all muscles of the torso including glutes, lower back, mid-back, shoulders, chest, abs & obliques
So, what I’m trying to say is a strong core is much more than an appearance thing. Just because someone has a beautiful looking six-pack, doesn’t necessarily equate to a solid core.
As much fun as performing countless crunches & sit-ups sounds, there are many other things I’d rather be doing with my time. Exercises that integrate multiple muscle groups through multi-joint movements can help tighten the tummy & shape the entire body. It’s like a 2 for 1!
There are many movements, but some examples include:
- squat presses
- cable/resistance band rotations
- bear crawls
- kettlebell swings
- farmer carries
more muscles working together –> harder your body works –> more calories burned
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with adding a few crunch variations here & there for fun. However, it’s not necessary & may not be the most effective approach depending on your goals. Strengthening the core as a whole can help trim the mid-section, improve balance/stability & makes everyday activities seem easier.