T Nation

Best Core Exercise


Just write your personal favourite exercise to build the most brutal core strengh. Squats and Deads dont count.


Front Squats
Hanging Leg Raises
Ab Rollouts
Heavy Farmers Walks


Heavy RDLs & Farmer Walks


Reverse hyperextensions


Ab wheel rolls & high rep back extensions


Heavy keg carries (and loads). If you can get speed up, they work they entire core in a way other things just cant, even sandbags, kegs are amazing.


Hanging leg raises, ab rollouts (especially if you can do a standing one), dragon flags, and I’m also trying to build up to do a planche, which is really fuckin hard and requires a ton of core strength.

However, some people may disagree but I think one of the best ways to build core strength is pushups of all kinds, provided you have no cat/camel thing going on.


For strength: Hanging Leg Raises. You can tie a plate in front of your thighs, or hold a dumbbell in between your feet to make it even harder

For hypertrophy: Ab pulldown. No other exercises are even close in terms of putting mass on your core. Do it heavy 6-8 rep ranges and shaboom you too can get a core like anabolic chicken


Ever superset these with reverse reverse hyperextensions? Brutal.


What is this “core” of which you speak? Is it a muscle? A movement?


It seems a lot of folks consider the core to be only the abs.


The Core Movement is about shifting the middle 1%. We’re sick of being treated as average. If you believe in fairness and demand change, get in touch. We’re waiting to hear from you.


Hence my question. I truly have never understood what is meant by the term (and I have a feeling different posters will mean different things).


Front levers.


The ENTIRE midsection. Abs, obliques, lumbar. That’s what core should refer to. The best “ab” exercises involve all 3 anyway, in my opinion.


Does “lumbar” refer to the spinal erectors?


It would refer to the spinal erectors in the lumbar region, not the thoracic or cervical.

Or, if we cut the anatomical fluff, just the muscles in your lower back. I think of the core as a band around your waist encompassing everything therein - lower back, sides, abs.


Yeah the term has been bastardized from its original meaning over the years.


My favorite and dark horse nomination: Pallof Press.


Then of course you realize there’s no lifting movement that could possibly work all these muscle groups simultaneously (‘work’ meaning to require them to contract and lengthen under load). Thus, the original question is akin to asking what is the best ‘arm’ exercise. There’s no such thing.