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Your core is about so much more than just your abdominal muscles. It comprises the main abdominal muscle (rectus abdominus, a.k.a. the “six pack” muscle) that allows you torso flexion, or what happens when you sit up from lying down or bend over. Then there’s your internal and external obliques, which are responsible for torso flexion in conjunction with rotation; this happens when you sit up and simultaneously twist to one side—like when you wake up and reach for the snooze button. Yourtransverse abdominus muscle is responsible for pulling your belly in towards your spine to create a contracted, flat tummy. If you knew someone was going to punch you in the belly, you’d brace your core to prepare—that’s your TVA! And there are many other muscles that work together with all of the ones I just mentioned to stabilize your pelvis and spine.
That’s why a boring old “ab” workout just won’t cut it. This workout, on the other hand, hits your abs and core from a 360-degree approach to make sure all of your glorious muscles get some love.
The Workout: Perform the following five exercises in a row with no rest between sets. Then, rest one minute and complete the exercises again. Rest two minutes and complete the exercises one more time for a total of three sets.
Check out a summary of the workout in the pin-able graphic below, and then check out the step-by-step instructions for each exercise.