Let’s face it, EVERYONE hates doing core work. Training for that most sought after six-pack has been the influence of most individual’s reasons for joining the gym in the first place. But the only way that most people think they will get that six pack is to do a million crunches. So some time goes by and you have done thousands upon thousands of crunches and what do you have to show for it, 2 measly little ab muscles and a ton of lower back pain, Congratulations I hope that’s what you were going for.
Yes Core work is an important factor to every workout, but doing Plank’s and Farmers Walks is not the only way to strengthen up those core muscles. There are several strengthening exercises for your main muscle groups that will also help to give you a nice strong core. The main one that comes to mind for me would be pushups. Think about your body position during a pushup, you are essentially in a planking position, and the focus of the pushup is to keep your body stable and have consistent body movements throughout the exercise. Well take a while guess as to what muscles will be keeping you stable during the pushup. Without proper core stabilization during the push-up, your body will be completely out of whack while performing the exercise that you will need to stop and catch yourself from falling over or face-planting on the floor. Another great example of an exercise that requires a great amount of core work that is not labeled as a core exercise is any type of row that is not chest supported (Seated Cable Rows and Bent Over Dumbell Rows are the best examples). During rowing motions your body uses the core for stabilization to prevent not only rotation of the body during the pull, but also to prevent any extension of the lumbar spine.
The Main function of the core is Stabilization of your entire body, so performing exercises that keep your body stable will in fact work your core muscles. Squats is another great example of an exercise that requires a lot of core stabilization. When done properly your core will fire up to keep your body from any lateral motion as well as any Anterior or Posterior movements.
I want to re-emphasize that this article is NOT meant to say that you no longer have to do core work. Core work is the stable of all types of strengthening exercises that you do and is the mortar to your bricks in your weight lifting. This article was meant to show you that you will be always working your core when you weight train, whether you realize it or not.