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Core Training

Don't confuse core training with ab exercises.

I hate using the term "core," because every time you do people think of doing 100's of crunches or some other useless exercises. Don't confuse TRUE core training with ab exercises. The abdominals are only a small part of your core. The core is essentially your hips to your shoulders. The core is comprised of the muscles that allow you to connect your legs to your arms. The core is vitally important. Without a strong core, it's impossible to effectively do the main mass/strength-building exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and overhead presses. And of course, most sports, require a strong core to transfer power from the legs and hips to the arms. True core training involves the back, hip, sides, and front.

And just like strengthening your biceps, doing an exercise that you can do more then 12 reps of will do little to strengthen a core muscle. Doing sets of 50 crunches will do little to improve core strength or make your abs more visible and better defined. Read why here. Also, if you ever get the urge to do TRUE body strength exercises, such as one-armed pushups, one-legged squats, v-ups, etc. you will have to have an extremely strong core.

See also Bodyweight Core Exercises for a list of some of my favorite core exercises.

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doctorAs with any nutrition or exercise program, always review them with your doctor to ensure that they don't interact with or are contraindicated by any medications or medical issues you may have. If you haven't trained for a while, start out slow and go easy. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, blood sugar problems, or any heart issues, you shouldn't do this program as it is very strenuous.
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