🏋️‍♂️ 8 core exercises that will redefine your abs

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Here’s what’s going on today:

  • The best core exercises for strength and stability.

  • A look at bodybuilder Chris Bumstead’s Olympia diet.

  • The best barbell exercises to boost your strength.


Core Values

Creadit: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

Core training is simultaneously something everyone knows they need to do more of and the thing most people skip out on at the gym.

Fortunately, it’s also the easiest thing in the world to add to your daily program, so long as you know what will actually help strengthen your abs. You won’t find sit-ups or crunches on this list of essential core exercises, but you will find several different exercises that work your abs through stability rather than motion.

There are options that feel like traditional “lying-on-the-floor” ab work, such as hollow holds and dead bug pullovers, as well as more active options like suitcase carries. Sprinkling a suitable dose of these exercises into your routine won’t take up much precious gym time, but they might help you establish a stronger foundation.

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A Classic (Physique) Diet

Credit: Chris Bumstead / YouTube

Eating is a full-time job when you make a living as a top-level bodybuilder — and it’s even more important when you’re a multi-time champion like Classic Physique competitor Chris Bumstead. And the four-time Olympia winner recently posted a video on his YouTube channel detailing an entire day’s worth of eating as he heads into the home stretch of his 2023 Olympia prep.

CBum works with a coach to painstakingly measure his food intake out to the milligram. Is anybody out there measuring out ⅛ cup of rice? Or cutting 40g out of a daily fish regimen to eke out those last few bits of shred? It’s not absurd — it’s just day-to-day life for competitive physique athletes. See how these pros fuel up in the article below.

Exercise Tips

A Man Walks Into a Barbell

Credit: Dorian Yates Nutrition / YouTube

The barbell may be the greatest invention in human history. Easily surpassing the wheel and home computer by virtue of it being impossible to get jacked with either of those, the barbell is the cornerstone of modern strength training.

Thousands of movements can be used (and misused) with the barbell. Much like the rest of modern life, trying to decide how to use the 7-foot piece of steel can lead to serious paralysis by analysis.

Turns out, you don’t need to keep scrolling through TikTok to find absurd barbell-inspired feats of strength — you just need to check out our digital library of the best moves to keep in your repertoire. Some of these may be familiar to you, such as the front squat and bench press, while others may be new and exciting, like the Kirk Shrug and overhead carry. Establishing skill in these exercises will take you anywhere you want to go.

Everything Else

Pull-Ups vs. Pulldowns

Credit: Mirage_studio / Shutterstock

  • Building your back with either pull-ups or lat pulldowns will contribute to your physique. But while they’re performed in the same plane, the two exercises have key differences you need to know about.

  • In this edition of The BarBend Podcast, host David Tao sits down with athlete and author Alyssa Ages to discuss her book, Secrets of Giants: A Journey to Uncover the True Meaning of Strength.

  • In the Information Age, you have more data available to you than the sum of knowledge of the entirety of human existence before you (probably). Accurate data collection may be the hardest task of all, but it can be made significantly easier by using one of these fitness trackers.