What is the best way to build core muscle?

If you put aspirations for a six pack aside, building core muscles can be achieved in many ways. The core idea to remember is stability.

Every muscle group in our body serves at least one purpose; among other things the core is responsible for us maintaining balance. When we walk, stand upright, play sports, even sitting upright, whatever physical activity you are performing you can thank your core (along with your sense of equilibrium) that you're not toppling over.

So, what does this have to do with building core muscles? Everything.

The best way to train a muscle is to understand what the function of that muscle is. Hamstrings bring your feet to your butt so performing leg curls strengthen that. Chest muscles push your arms away from your body, so bench presses will strengthen that ability. Now, the ability that we're strengthening here is balance. One of the best movements for strengthening balance is the Squat.

Think about it: you're upright, attempting to sit down (with no chair), and you are carrying an extra load. If you had a weak core during this movement you would fold...literally.

There are many forms of the Squat, and it needs to be a legitimate squat; no, leg presses do not count here. For the average gym goer, Front Squats would probably work your core more than any other variant (except the overhead squat, which is a very complex movement).

Another exercise that would strengthen your balance is the Plank. Planks engages the other function of the core and that is Bracing. Now, bracing and balance can be one in the same depending on the circumstance, but the focus here is to engage the muscles of your core by isometrically flexing all of the muscles. Strengthening your core in this aspect will improve your balance as well as your posture by allowing the small intricate muscles that often get neglected and over powered to perform their function.

So to sum it up, do Squats and Planks.

I hope the best for you and your core strengthening goals!

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