The Best Way to Train Your Core

Date:09-09-2013 15:50:05 read:5

Dump the situps and use weights to chisel the core.

Are you wasting your time trying to whittle your waistline? Free-weight exercises are more effective than traditional situps when it comes to activating your core muscles, according to a recent study from the University of South Florida.

Researchers reviewed different types of standard ab exercises—crunches, planks, and stability-ball situps—and determined that dynamic moves, like deadlifts and squats, are the faster way to firm up your gut. The reason: Free-weight moves force you to engage your back muscles, which otherwise go unused when you lie on the ground or a stability ball, the researchers say. Instead of working only your front half, this small change gives you 360 degrees of strength, which will increase muscle gains and burn more calories.

Adding weight to the moves—something you can’t do with regular crunches—helps to improve overall body strength, bone density, and cardiovascular health, too. And while these exercises might help you ultimately achieve a six-pack, they provide many other benefits: With a tight trunk, you have more agility and power, better posture, and the potential to fry fat.

But remember, free-weight lifts are often technical and harder than they look. First practice your form without weight and gradually add load in a controlled, safe manner. Check out these 4 New Deadlift Variations to get started carving your core with good form.

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