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Core Exercises for Men
Let’s now look at some core exercises for men.  Look at the diagram above and become familiar with some of the abdominal muscles and reference them as we discuss each section.  I will go over a brief description of some of the ab muscles, discuss a strategy for certain types of body types and go over specifically some good ab exercises for men.  If you are looking for the secret to six pack abs, then here we go: 

Transversus Abdominis– This is the first layer of abdominal muscle located below the internal oblique (despite what the picture is showing).  Its main function is to hold in your organs and intestines with this protective sheath.  Though not a visible component of the abs, training the Transversus will help keep our stomach from protruding out so much when we let go of our posture.  Certain hip imbalances can also cause this protrusion, but training this muscle is still important for that six pack.  Stomach vacuums are the best exercise to strengthen and tighten it up. 

Internal/External Oblique– These muscles help rotate the trunk forward and pull to either side of the body.  The internal oblique will work with the external oblique from the opposite side to cause these movements.  Only the external obliques are visible on the outer body creating those nice cuts on the sides of your six pack.  They are the hardest to see until you lose enough body fat.  The best exercise for these muscles is holding a weight with one hand while dipping side to side while tightening the abdomen.  Obviously you will want to switch the weight to the other side to work out the opposite side. 

Rectus Abdominis– This is what constitutes as the “six pack” of our abdomen.  As you can see from the picture, there are eight separations (six of which are below the chest cavity and are visible).  This is the majority of your core and will want to work it out the most.  As you know, these muscles function to pull your trunk in a forward motion and also assist in balancing while performing exercises for other body parts.  It is very important to work them out in sections: Upper, middle and lower.   

Strategy 

This blog is dedicated to males with elongated and thin muscle attachments in the rectus abdominis.  This is why we have to use heavier weights than our mesomorph counterparts. Most focus should be on the top two layers, but you will get some benefit from using heavy weights on the lower portion.  If you have being reading past post and have completed phase 1 for endurance, you are ready to add in some weights.  Stay tuned for phase 2, but let me give you a few of my favorite core exercises for men that will help get that prominent mid-section: 

Upper: weighted crunch machine, stability ball w/cable assisted crunch, Kneeling cable pull downs. 

Mid:decline sit ups, decline sit ups w/weights (a.k.a. muscle ups), Ab wheel 

Lower: hanging knee/leg lifts w/weight, scissor kicks w/ankle wraps 

Check out this video for the demonstrations on how to do each of these exercises. 


*Evolve Gym is a private personal training gym located in Huntington Beach servicing the Orange and Los Angeles county areas. We focus in innovative training techniques to achieve weight loss and lean muscle gain.