What're the best core exercises? aka How to kill the "skinny fat" look

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Savant21, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Savant21 Blue Belt

    Savant21
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    I checked the S&C FAQ & the link to the recommended core exercises is dead. My routine is the StrongLifts 5x5 & I've been doing it for about a year & some change now (haven't had a ton a success due to inconsistency in diet & working on fixing this god damn APT).

    That said, I've gotten my weight up in the past two years from 175ish to 180 & now 190ish in the last few months which is great, problem is that most of the weight goes to my stomach unfortunately & I have that god awful "skinny fat" look & the weight isn't distributed throughout my body (legs & arms).

    That said, I'm looking to bulk (I wanna put on at least 40 lbs & then cut like 15 lbs or so) & from what I've researched, the key to killing this look (from a bulking perspective) is to increase your calories, lift more intensely & work on your core. The only 2 core exercises I've been doing is the Russian Twists & hanging leg raises but I barely even feel them & I'm never sore from those exercises.

    So the question is, what're the definitive core exercises that're quick & easy to implement in my routine? I want some core exercises that're gonna leave my core sore after I've finished performing them.
     
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  2. puppybird BANNNED FROM TV

    puppybird
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    Try curls in the squat rack
     
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  3. ripskater Steel Belt

    ripskater
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    Don't increase your calories.
     
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  4. Kiwi Tricker Green Belt

    Kiwi Tricker
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    Why not? If he's looking to increase his weight, then he'll need to be eating more.

    The thing here TS is making sure that you're increasing your caloric intake the right way. Stuffing yourself with pizza, cheeseburgers and lollies is fun and an easy way to increase caloric intake, but leads to definitely worse body composition.

    Getting a "good core" doesn't really require much in the way of direct ab work. Getting larger and stronger in general will lead to a stronger-looking core, particularly after you remove the excess from it.
     
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  5. ripskater Steel Belt

    ripskater
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    If he's going for a certain look, away from the skinny fat look, you gotta be careful doing that (increasing calories). That could be a mistake if you don't want to look skinny fat.
     
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  6. Sano Brown Belt

    Sano
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    There are so many things you can do. The core is worked in some form or another in most every exercise, as long as you keep it your focus to be rigid and braced when you need to. It's about the intention.

    Anyway;
    Side plank variations, bear crawl variations, quadrupel variations, deadbug variations, leg raise variations, anti rotation/pallof press variations, medicin ball slams, single leg work, single arm work, sidebends, ab rollouts up, L-sit, dragon flag, windshield wipers, front/side levers and so forth. Even various crunches. So many possibilites.

    Start with easy variations first and practice the control. It's just as much a skill as it is anything else, and it's useless without proper form and control because your power will leak.

    You mentioned something about APT? You might want to check this out and see if you find it helpful: http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/127174165/

    Btw, if you want to gain muscle, don't eat crap and go on a massive calorie surplus. Find your maintanence level, eat about 10-20% above it, eat clean and get enough protein (roughly 0,6-0,8g pr lbs bw seems to be a good spot according to most studies). In your case you might want to keep the surplus at the low end if you want a more lean bulk.

    Consistency is the big one though. You wont get anywhere without that, so keep the program short and sweet make it a habit.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  7. Savant21 Blue Belt

    Savant21
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    Thanks. Regarding the APT, I actually made a thread about it last year, here's the link (thanks for your advice back then btw): http://forums.sherdog.com/threads/h...hen-your-hips-glutes-lower-back-core.3330491/

    For fixing APT, I've been following your advice from that thread as well as doing these stretches everyday (or every other day):



    Me strengthening my core is basically because I wanna kill the skinny fat look as well as because of APT too (which results in a weak core, glutes & hams). Overall, I'm just trying to bulk up & get stronger.
     
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  8. Sano Brown Belt

    Sano
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    No problem, how is it working out for you? The link I posted just before is a lot more thorough, so you might want to check that out.

    You can't really spot reduce and get rid of an overall "skinny fat" appearance by doing more ab work. Sure, it helps some, but the key here is diet and overall training methodology. Be consistent, do the compounds and keep improving, do some (BB) accessory work and eat a clean, healthy diet with enough protein.
     
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  9. Savant21 Blue Belt

    Savant21
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    I've actually seen a vast improvement in my posture since late last year (when I went to the chiropractor & he told me I have APT). Soreness in my lower back hasn't been as severe as it once was when I first started (back in mid-late 2015), however having APT overall is a bitch tbh cuz it's still challenging for me to increase the weight on my lifts (my squat form has improved but everytime I increase the weight, I'm always paranoid about the form due to APT so I'll squat the exact same weight on two workouts before I increase it the next workout). My deadlift form has improved but I still get slight lower-back pain sometimes so it's kinda stagnated a bit. Basically my squats & DLs have been to a degree stuck around the low 200 lbs.

    All that said, I also have to increase my calories as well. I've been meal-prepping since earlier this year (I work 9-5 Mon-Fri) & I actually tried to bulk on a keto/low-carb diet but it's way too expensive & ridiculously tough to bulk on a low-carb diet (I basically tried cuz I had pre-diabetes last year from eating shit food from trying to bulk but not consistently lifting. I lost like 10 lbs a month after I was diagnosed. I'm fine now thankfully & have put weight on from eating clean but I still try to eat as little carbs as possible & ensure the carbs I do consume are complex carbs).

    That said, you're absolutely right about the spot reduce to eliminate the "skinny fat" appearance. I just wanna ensure I'm bulking in a healthy manner & I continue to improve my posture & strengthen my core & glutes since anyone with APT will have a weak core & glutes.

    I'll definitely check out your other post regarding APT tho. I'd say my APT now is moderate but lifting with APT in general is a bitch. I plan on making a thread in the D&S forum regarding meal-prepping & bulking on low carbs. I hope I won't have to meal prep forever cuz it's extremely time consuming.

    *Edit:
    As a side-note, on the weekends I hangout @ the clubs pretty late at night to talk to girls (i.e. till around 2 ish) & don't get home till 2:30 am 3 o'clock so it's technically 2 days I lift since I'm exhausted after doing that shit (I never drink though). So consistency is definitely something I have to focus more on. It's just tough juggling lifting, work & clubbing to talk to girls all simultaneously.
     
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  10. Sano Brown Belt

    Sano
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    You don't want to bulk on keto definitely. I wouldn't recommend keto but then again it works great for some people. I'm not a dietitian, so I refer to people with more knowledge on that one.

    I know this sounds like double standards (since I wrote that whole piece on APT), but you don't want to overthink these things. It's good that you're aware, but posture is not something you should obsess about. The most important thing is how it feels. If you're having trouble with your lower back on deadlifts, try pulling from blocks or try sumo. You don't have to do it a specific way, as long as you get something out of it (strength gains and LESS pain). Same with the squats, try other variations if you like, or cut the depth and implement paused reps.

    It's not that hard to juggle those things. If you're not drinking thats cool. Just go to the gym and keep the workout a little shorter if you're feeling fatigued. Again, slow and steady wins the race.

    Good luck with everything!
     
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  11. JimRussel Purple Belt

    JimRussel
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    What?

    increase calories >>> keep lifting hard >>> put on lean mass >>> stop being so skinny fat.
     
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  12. pliftkl Green Belt

    pliftkl
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    "What're the best core exercises? aka How to kill the "skinny fat" look"

    There's really no relationship between these two questions. The condition of your core has almost nothing to do with the results that you are looking for.

    Just get strong. When you are squatting 400 pounds, it's very unlikely that anyone is going to call you skinny-fat.
     
    #12
  13. aus101 Brown Belt

    aus101
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    Skinny fat is high bodyfat, low muscle mass. Gaining muscle mass will lose you the skinny portion and losing fat will eliminate the fat part.

    Whether to cut or bulk first though depends upon this, are you more unhappy with your muscle mass or body fat? If not enough muscle, then work on your compound movements and eat. If too fat then keep lifting but add in some cardio and then start to restrict calories when the scale stops dropping.
     
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  14. ocean size Brown Belt

    ocean size
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    You don't need to do for exercises. You need to do your program without fucking around. Not taking the piss here:

    If you followed SL 5x5 anywhere her correctly including increasing weight every week, deloading when the program calls for it, you would have advanced to an intermediate program more than 6 months ago. No wonder when you gained 10 lbs it went to your stomach.

    If you've been on it for more than a year, you haven't been training consistently it correctly. Train hard and get decent nutrition you won't need to look to any other tactic to be less skinny fat.
     
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  15. Maaj19 Yellow Belt

    Maaj19
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    Throw in some HIIT on your off day and clean up your diet - you'd be suprised what effect cutting out fizzy drinks and chocolate can have. Also throw in a variety of ab exercises but you don't have to do anything to fancy cos the squats and deadlifts will give you a string core anyway.
     
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  16. Pied Piper Banned

    Pied Piper
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    Compound movements 6-12 reps. Also find your caloric maintenance and eat below that. Losing fat is all diet. Building muscle increases your total body mass, which increases the number of calories your body takes in for maintenance
     
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  17. kevo1295 Brown Belt

    kevo1295
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    I get my best results when I isolate the core muscles. I usually train them in a circuit. Choose like 5-6 exercises 20-30 sec rest in between exercises.

    Example: I run this circuit 3x

    Hanging leg raises x20
    Kneeling Ab wheel roll out x15
    Landmine 180s x20
    Barbell side-bend x20
    V-situps x30
    RKC plank 45-60secs

    Then I'll hit a heavy bag for 5-10 min or skip rope.

    I'd do this when you're cutting. If you're bulking, just worry about strength gains. Squats, deadlifts, pullups, OHP's will engage your core a bit either way. Don't worry too much about your physique until you get to your target weight.
     
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  18. miaou barely keeping it together

    miaou
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    I'd assume that being skinny fat would be due to one, or a combination of, the following:

    1) being totally sedentary
    2) shitty diet (more calories than you need, combined with an inadequate protein intake)
    3) low endogenous anabolic hormone levels


    Find which one/ones is/are the issue and address it/them.


    And no, it's not because you're not doing the "best core exercises".
     
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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
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