Every month we ask our panel of experts their opinion on what’s hot in health and fitness. This month: Should you bother with targeted core work if you’re doing full body compound lifts each workout?
Absolutely. When you do compound movements your core is activated, but not nearly as much as if you do an isolation core movement.
I always suggest adding a quick abdominal targeting session a few days a week, even if you are performing full-body compound lifts. A short, intense ab workout is a great way to perfect your core and burn extra calories.
If you’re doing the full compound lifts correctly, you should be good but there is nothing wrong with adding a little core to your routine.
Training the core by itself is super important. Yes, you do get a lot of core work during your compound movements, but the core is a group of muscles which should be trained individually, like any other muscle group.
I believe there is a degree of specificity necessary. While we need compound lifts like squats and deadlifts to help develop core strength, it’s also beneficial to add in core specific exercises like cable crunches, medicine ball slams and planks. This contributes to the appearance, strength and stability of my core.
If you are going for a blocky six pack, you will want to incorporate isolated ab training to fully stimulate those muscles. It’s always important to work your core for a balanced physique and to lessen the risk of injury.
I think this depends on your goals. For me, I naturally have a very strong core and prominent abdominals. I don’t need additional core work, and therefore devote that time in my lift to other body part groups that I do need to develop.
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