6-Pack Abs Are Just The Beginning: This Is How You Build Overall Core Strength

6-Pack Abs Are Just The Beginning: This Is How You Build Overall Core Strength
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Core strength is about way more than just having a set of 6-pack abs. While they're a nice bonus, abs don't mean much to overall fitness (they just mean you have low body fat). 

There are muscles behind the abs and in the lower back that require work as well. By exercising them, you are minimizing your chance of injury and ensuring that you will be able to lift heavy when needed. Keep reading for ways on how to strengthen your overall core.

To Start, Utilize Your Bodyweight

While hitting the weights hard can be helpful, you'll want to get a handle on what your body is capable of, then improve it before you add iron pumping to the mix. 

This video has a mix of beginner's level core exercises that will get you ready for the next level. Bodyweight exercises like the plank are great for building strength and muscle endurance, both of which you will need when you move onto harder stuff involving the core. 

Next, Develop Your Functional Strength With A Dumbbell

Once you have some basic core strength, you can move onto functional movements with weight. These will simulate the types of movements out in the real world that require core strength and stability. Ever lifted a bag of potatoes? You better believe that required core strength. 

The heavier the weight, the more core strength you need to lift it. If you want to be really functional, then you can stop by your local Costco for some bags of bulk salt and flower to lift. If you want to be a little more down to earth with it, you can try this functional barbell workout. 

Finally, Start Fighting Against Gravity

Once you've got some serious core strength built up, the natural thing to do is to start showing off. You can start doing certain exercises that will make you look like you're defying gravity, just like the dude in the video above. 

You can slowly work your way up to this level by doing workouts that involve pull-up bars. If you keep working at it, you'll eventually be able to do some crazy handstands or mimic a flag.