4 Core Workouts for Men You Can’t Ignore

visceral fat

Core workouts for men involve specific exercises that help to strengthen torso muscles. The main focus is on the lower back and those abdominal muscles. But why bother—really?

Well, who doesn’t want washboard abs? Okay, so not everyone wants a ripped 6-pack, but we all want a flat stomach, right? Even fully dressed, a uniform tummy looks much nicer as clothes hang better.

Men like to joke by rubbing and showing off their so-called beer bellies. But they’re not the happy campers they portray. They laugh about it because if they didn’t they’d be in tears.

Physical appearance and vanity aside, there are other, more serious reasons to tone that tummy. What you can’t see may be far more dangerous that what you can. Let me explain.

The Dangers of Excess Abdominal Fat

You can’t see visceral fat. It’s the fatty tissue that lies deep within, pushing against the major organs. It can cause the stomach to protrude—the thing men affectionately refer to as the paunch.

It’s a serious issue because all this excess fat is a potential contributor of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, and even some cancers.

More Reasons to Consider Core workouts for men

Without core muscles we couldn’t function. Men who have weaker core power have less overall strength than those who develop these muscles. As people, they’re more physically stable and have better balance and flexibility. Core muscles are responsible for most human movements.

Develop your core strength and you’ll reduce the risk of lower back problems later on in life. And here’s the really good news: you don’t have to flog yourself half to death to improve core stability.

If you want that dead flat tummy, or 6-pack abs, then you’ll have to put in more effort. If you just want to become stronger and reduce the risk of hurt or injury, a few simple exercises will suffice.

The exercises on this page will serve both parties well. Those who want to go the extra mile can increase the amount of sets and reps they do. I’ll also suggest some additional workouts at the end.

Exercise and Diet

Exercise alone won’t do much. Okay, you could still develop a 6-pack, but no one will see it if it’s hidden behind a big gut. Healthy diet and a proper workout routine is the key to a successful outcome.

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My core workout for men gives you all the exercises you need for developing a better physique. If you need to lose weight too, you’ll have to prepare a diet plan that includes all the right foods.

I can’t prepare your diet for you because no two people are the same. What I can do is give you a list of foods to consider. This way you can devise an eating plan that works for you and your tastes.

If you’re not sure, ask for guidance from a professional trainer, a dietitian, or a nutritionist. The most important thing is to have a meal plan that curbs your appetite and satisfies your palate.

Here’s a quick list of the kinds of foods that will help to boost your core workout program:

  • Eggs (go with free-range duck eggs if you can find them)
  • Instant oatmeal (unsweetened, unflavored)
  • Green leafy veggies
  • Lean cuts of meat
  • Raspberries and other berries
  • Whole-grain breads and cereals
  • Raw almonds and other types of nuts (with skins intact)
  • Beans and legumes
  • Dairy (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Peanut butter
  • Olive oil

There’s more to add, but you get the idea.  Using the list above, the meal potential has no limits other than the cook’s imagination. You probably already eat many items from this list.

It shouldn’t take you long to see what foods to cut out of your diet. It’s the usual culprits:

  • Sugar (in most forms aside from certain fruits)
  • Processed meats and processed foods more generally
  • Breads
  • Baked foods, e.g. cookies and cakes, etc
  • Sweet juices
  • Sodas

Learn How to Stabilize Your Spine

As with any type of exercise, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. I can’t emphasize the importance of warming up and using proper form during a workout strongly enough.

Failure to warmup and exercise the right way can cause hurt and even serious injury. In either case, you’ll have to stop your workouts to recover, and that’s the last thing you want.

With core-strengthening exercises you need to first know how to stabilize the spine. This is where abdominal bracing comes in. It activates your entire abdominal wall and improves core stiffness.

It’s crucial that you execute abdominal bracing the right way. The video below shows why this is so important, and how to perform the moves safely:

Basic Exercises to Improve Your Core Stability

The rest of this piece focuses on my simple core stability exercise program. It’s the perfect workout to strengthen those core muscles. It can also be a great foundation for a more intensive plan.

Here are my four suggested core strength exercises (perform on alternate days):

  1. Floor bridge
  2. Alternate arm and leg raise
  3. The one-legged squat
  4. The plank

The next section explains how to perform each of these core exercises. How many sets and reps you do is something you’ll have to decide, or have suggested by a professional.

core workouts for men

#1 Floor Bridge

Muscles worked: Entire abdominal region, lower back, and glutes

Equipment: Floor mat

How to do the floor bridge:

Lie down on your back on a flat, comfortable surface. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Place your palms face down by your sides. This is your start position.

  1. Form an abdominal brace
  2. Squeeze in the buttocks
  3. Raise the pelvis slowly off the floor into the bridge position
  4. Hold for a moment and then lower to the start position
  5. Repeat the exercise after a short pause

#2 Alternate Arm and Leg Raise

Muscles worked: Abs, core, shoulders, and calves

Equipment: Floor mat

How to do the alternate arm and leg raise:

Get onto your hands and knees with the back straight and head up. This is your starting position

  1. Brace your abs (stomach muscles)
  2. Breathe out as you extend opposite arm to opposite leg (parallel to the floor)
  3. Keep the torso stable and square as you briefly hold the pose
  4. Breathe in as you relax and return to the start position
  5. Continue exercise for the agreed number of reps
  6. Repeat using opposite sides

#3 One-Legged Squat

Muscles worked: Hips, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves

Equipment: None

How to do the one-legged squat:

Stand tall and put your arms straight out in front. This is your starting position.

  1. Balance on one leg with the other leg behind you, knee bent at a right angle.
  2. Brace the abdominals as you slowly perform a half-squat
  3. Maintain good posture and hold the position briefly
  4. Return to the start position
  5. Continue exercise for the agreed number of reps
  6. Repeat using opposite sides

#4 High Plank

Muscles worked: Stomach muscles, especially deep core muscles

Equipment: Floor mat

How to do the high plank:

Place your forearms on the ground with elbows aligned just below your shoulders. Keep the arms parallel to your body, a little wider than shoulder width distance. Flex your feet on the floor with the bottoms of your toes. This is your start position.

  1. Breathe in and bring yourself to the pushup position
  2. Draw the navel toward your spine as you tighten the buttocks
  3. Hold for 10 seconds before returning to the start position
  4. Repeat the exercise for the agreed number of reps

And that’s it folks, your introduction to core workouts for men and why you should do them.

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