The Best Core Exercises

Everyone wants a lean, sexy core. Whether you’re male or female, a defined midsection is what separates an average body from an incredible body. There’s no honor in sporting big guns and cannonball delts if you’ve got a spare tire. And what woman wants to be relegated to covering her midsection with a towel wrap at the beach?
The first, and most important, step for getting a washboard stomach is with the right diet. Replace all carbs with vegetables, take two teaspoons of Carlson fish oil at breakfast/lunch/dinner, and eat one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass (LBM = total weight – fat weight).
Once your diet is in order, then it’s time to focus on your training. You can find hundreds of crazy ab exercises (most of them do more harm than good) on YouTube, but it’s imperative that you master the plank and side plank first. Especially important is side plank endurance. Your core must have sufficient endurance strength before you progress to more esoteric ab exercises. If you skip this step you’re setting yourself up for a back injury.
Dr Stuart McGill, the world’s foremost expert on a healthy core, recommends that you be able to hold the side plank for 75 seconds on each side. In addition, you should be able to hold the plank for 90 seconds. Like all forms of training I put my clients through, the progression occurs in stages. Each stage lasts as long as it takes. Do the following two exercises, one set each day, until you reach the goal. Then move on to Stage II.
Side plank (work up to a 75-second hold)

Plank (work up to a 90-second hold)

Now that you’ve established your base of strength endurance for your core, it’s time for the next variations. For each of the following variations it’s imperative that you brace your core and do not let your hips shift or rotate one bit. This is harder than it looks when you lock your hips in place. Do the following two exercises, once each day, until you reach the goal.
Single-leg plank (work up to a 45-second hold with each leg up)

Single-arm plank (work up to a 45-second hold with each arm up)

For the Stage III exercises that build the ultimate core, check out my Body of F.I.R.E. system that’s coming soon. It’s what the incredible Ralek Gracie used to prepare for his fight last Saturday against the legendary Kazushi Sakuraba. (Ralek won, by the way). Check out Ralek’s banner at the beginning of this video for proof:

Stay focused,