As a trainer, it’s my job to understand how the body works, explain it to people, help them improve imbalances and achieve their fitness goals, and move and feel better in their day-to-day. I particularly love teaching people about their core (and debunking myths and inaccurate information out there). The misunderstanding is you should care about abs and ab workouts because you want a six-pack, which is totally fine, but your abs actually play a big role in how you move.
Your internal and external oblique muscles are important for trunk rotation and side flexion. Your rectus abdominis muscles (aka your six-pack muscles) help you maintain an upright posture and also help you flex your lumbar spine (lower spine) and are used every time you cough and laugh. And your transverse abdominis muscles (your deep core muscles) help stabilize your pelvis and lower spine before upper- and lower-body movements occur. Long story short: your abdominal muscles are extremely important.
There are numerous exercises you can do for a stronger core, and I’ve rounded up my favorites, which will also help you improve your athletic performance and posture and make things like carrying numerous bags of groceries at once a lot easier. This list isn’t intended to be done as a workout, but feel free to add a few exercises to your next one, or you can make up a quick ab workout with a few of them. If you’re ready to work your way to stronger abs, continue reading.