Most people get a gym membership to lose weight and get their bodies in shape. Cardio alone won’t tone your muscles and give you a chiseled physique. You need to be doing some core work to achieve your dream physique.
Apart from giving you an aesthetic look, a developed midriff adds to your core strength and helps in resistance workouts and your conditioning. Not to mention, women chase a six-pack like cats chase a laser point.
Whether you fancy a six-pack or not, you should be doing these core exercises. Having a strong core helps you with functional movements you do in your day to day routine like the squats, overhead presses, and deadlifts.
6 Hardest Core Exercise: Try This Workout If You Think You’re Badass
1. Human Flag – 10-Second Hold
This exercise isn’t for the faint-hearted. The human flag has been the cover exercise for badassery for a long time. Chances are you’ve never seen someone do a human flag in real life. This is how hard it is to do.
Lift and balance your entire body with your hands. This can put the ultimate tension on your core. You can’t do a human flag starting from zero. You need to build strength with assisting exercises like the toe-to-bar and side planks.
2. Standing Barbell Rollout – 3 Sets, 10 Reps
If you think barbell rollouts are hard, this exercise takes it one step further. Add a quarter plate at each side on a barbell and stand with your feet placed at shoulder width. You could even use an ab wheel if you’re feeling a little fancy.
Place the barbell on the floor and slowly roll down, so your body is parallel to the floor. Keep the entire movement slow and deliberate. Return to the starting position without using a jerk or momentum.
3. Medicine Ball Hollow-Body Hold – 3 Sets, 20 Seconds Hold
Hollow-body holds is an excellent way to exhaust your lower abs. Lie with your arms extended over your head. Get into a “hollow” position with your arms and legs lifted up and your head in line with the arms.
If this wasn’t hard enough, hold a medicine ball between your feet. Using your core, rock your body so you look like the bottom of a rocking chair. You and the people around you might find this silly, but your abs will be completely smoked after this exercise.
4. Dragon Flag – 3 Sets, 15 Reps
Dragon flag is a complete ab buster. Only a few other exercises can work your midriff like this exercise does. Lie on a flat bench with your hands holding the bench next to your head. Lift your legs and back off the bench, so only your neck is touching the bench.
Keep your back arched and slowly lower your body towards the bench. Lower your body until your body is an inch away from the bench. Stop here and return to the starting position. You can make this exercise harder by performing it on an incline bench.
5. Single-Side Bird Dog – 3 Sets, 30 Second Hold On Each Side
This exercise combines two core exercise — planks and superman planks. The single-side bird dog is a great unilateral exercise which allows you to train a single side of your midriff. This is an excellent way of focusing on each side of your mid-section.
Lock out your elbow and place your right hand and right knee on the floor while stretching out your left arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. This exercise might sound easy but your abs will be on fire after you’re done. You can make this exercise harder by placing weights on your back.
6. Barbell Climb – 3 Sets, 3 Reps
Barbell climbs is a great way to finish your core workouts. Place the barbell in a corner and stand with your feet placed apart at a distance where you, the barbell and the floor are forming a triangle. Slant the barbell towards you at the beginning of the exercise and straighten it as you start the set.
Climb down the bar hand over hand as low as possible or until the bar is straight. Keep your core tight and don’t let your hips sag as you climb back up. Have a spotter to make sure the barbell doesn’t slip from its place.