The way to “functionally” build a stronger core is to resist bending or twisting your torso. I know it seems counter intuitive since most traditional ab exercises involve bending and twisting…right? But that’s not what your “core” muscles are meant to do. Their function is to protect your spine by minimizing unnecessary motion. Ok, the best way to understand this concept is by actually “feeling” it, so check out the video below and give the core exercise a try.
Ok, now that you gave the exercise a try, notice how difficult the plank exercise became when you extended your arm out to the side. The natural tendency is to twist your torso, but by resisting the motion you felt the “core” working…right? That’s how you functionally strengthen your core - by resisting excessive bending and twisting of your torso.
So instead of doing ab exercises that require you to bend and twist…which really doesn’t do much for your core, try doing simple and functional exercises like the plank to strengthen your core the right way.
Keep in mind that you can have an amazingly strong core but still NOT have six pack abs. If your goal is to have lean defined abs, you NEED to burn off the stubborn belly fat by combining the right workouts and diet. Research has proven time and time again that the best way to burn off fat is by performing short high intensity workouts. The reason being, these workouts effectively stimulate potent fat burning hormones in your body while suppressing opposing non-fat burning hormones. So if you’re focused on “working” your abs, just make sure to include short high intensity workouts so you can build a strong core and have a ripped abs at the same time.