Core training is obviously a very important aspect in developing a strong mid-section. Let's face it, on top of being strong everyone wants a rock-hard flat stomach. Let's dive into some points that are imperative in doing so. We'll jump into the three most important topics: nutrition, exercise and rest.
I need you to remove all processed sugars, white salt (not sea salt) and all white flours. Now, what's the deal with wheat or gluten? Recently, there have been a lot of skeptics and a huge question as to whether this should or shouldn't be added into one's diet. There's evidence to prove both sides. My belief is that wheat gluten should be avoided. However, unless you have celiac's disease or any heavy intolerance towards it, it can be added in moderation.
Which leads me to my next point: Stick with an 80/20 rule when it comes to diet. 80 percent of your week at the minimum needs to be spot on. Do everything that I ask you to do 80 percent of the time. Then, the remaining 20 percent allow for error and some fun. This stuff shouldn't feel like prison. I want you to reward yourself and still enjoy the things in life that you love.
Take this advice and you will notice a substantial decrease in the thickness of your waist within a short period of time. On top of it all (and this is an added bonus), you will also be able to notice a decrease in inflammation and sore joints.
Lastly, water! You're going to need 50 ounces of water per 100 pounds of body weight every day. If you're a 200-pound male, you'll need 100 ounces of water. A 150-pound female is going to need 75 ounces of water. You do the math.
I had the opportunity to sit with Dr. Charlie Weingroff and discuss the functions of the core. This guy knows more about functional strength and rehabilitation than anyone I've ever met.
The core is made up of these areas: rectus abdominis, obliques, quadratus lumborum, erector spinae, transverse abdominis, multifidus, diaphragm and the pelvic floor. That's a lot to train, and you are not going to hit them all by doing crunches. -- Charlie Weingroff
Do not get discouraged. Here are five movements that I want you to start doing that will attack everything listed above:
Sternal Crunch (w. no flexion)
Belly breathing is not only going to help strengthen the transverse abdominis, multifidus, diaphragm and pelvic floor, but it's also going to help calm your nervous system. By doing this, we are speeding our recovery process which in turn will help burn belly fat and most importantly, assist in improving hormone function, an enormous factor that is often overlooked.
You're going to hear me lead back to this in many of my articles because it is just so overlooked, but getting a sufficient amount of rest is vital in being healthy overall and the healthier you are, the more of a fat-burning furnace you'll be.
Developing a functional and lean looking mid-section is really not as difficult as we make it out to be, and you don't have to give up all the things you love. Remember moderation is key; live by the 80/20 rule, get an effective workout in, and make sure you sleep.