Fatloss & maintaining muscle part 1: Core basics
This article is part of my previous post: My bodybuilding routine: Fatloss & maintaining muscle. Today part #1: Core exercise.
I tend to start off most training sessions with some core exercises. Core exercises are a great way to strengthen (1) your lower back and (2) abdominal area. It prevents me from doing extra ab exercise as well, since I can hit them during this workout. The reason why I start off with the core exercises and not end my training session with them, is the fact I am too exhausted at the end of my session and won’t be able to give a full effort. This works best for me, maybe something else works better for you, you’ll have to find out for yourself!
Now, you can vary the exercises to your own needs. I will just post an example that helped me build a great core (so they are great exercises 🙂 ). This will warm up your body, but won’t take up too much of your energy needed for the weight training that follows!
1) Plank (20-60 sec – repeat 4 x)
I start off with a basic plank exercise. This help you build endurance in your abs and back. The idea is not just to lie down, but to contract muscles as well.
- Lie face down resting on the forearms, make fists and pin them to the floor;
- Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows;
- Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels;
- Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominal muscles and glutes. Really pin those firsts into the floor now. You may also use flat hands;
- Hold for 20 to 60 seconds;
- Repeat 4 times.
2) Side plank (20-60 sec – repeat 4 x each side)
Great for your sides and losing the love-handles. This helped me getting the obliques in shape, without doing complicated ab exercises for the sides.
- Lie on your side with your legs straight, rest on your elbow and point your forearm forward;
- Get your pelvis off the floor so your body forms a diagonal line;
- Either point the unused arm to the top or put it on your hip;
- Brace your abs and hold for 20-60 seconds.;
- Repeat 4 times for both sides, so that’ll make 8 side planks 🙂
3) Reverse curl for lower abs
Well, it just depends what you like for crunches. I like to really hit the lower abs, since that’s the most troublesome area right? A really good exercise for those lower abdomens are reverse curls. I also tend to do different crunches each repetition, so maybe throw in some normal crunches. That’ll make your abs burn for sure!
- Lie on your back on the floor with your arms next to you and hand palms flat on the floor;
- Bring your legs up so that your body forms a 90-degrees angle with your legs, knees bend a little bit;
- Now bring your hips up and back down again;
- Repeat this motion for about 20-40 times;
- Complete 4 sets.
4) Ab rollouts
And another great exercise for your lower abdomens are ab rollouts. You can either use an ab roller or just put together a barbell with 2 x 5 kgs or so.
- Go and sit on your knees;
- Put your hands on the barbell at about the width of your body;
- Now slowly roll the barbell forward pivoting on your knees and then come back up again;
- Repeat this motion 20-30 times;
- Complete 2 sets.
So that’s an example of one of the basic setup of my core workout. You will warm up your body and strengthen your core. And if you’re lucky – and drop your fat-% just far enough (below 10 or 12) – also get a six pack to show up! Besides these core exercises I also do the big ones, like the squat and deadlift, but that’s during weight trianing.