Am I cheating myself by skipping abs?

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    Am I cheating myself by skipping abs?


    So just what the title asks..I'm eating a surplus and am trying to gain as much weight as possible. Aesthetics are not really that important to me right now so I'm not at all concerned with having a beach body but am I hurting myself in other aspects of my training by not doing abs?

    Currently my routine is squat, bench, deads, rows, and OHP

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post

    Currently my routine is squat, bench, deads, rows, and OHP
    when you say abs, do you mean rectus, obliques? your 'abs' - sorry, i kind of hate that word, get a hell of a lot of work doing the above movements.

    that said, would it be a good idea to add some hanging leg raises? probably, strong core = a bigger squat, dead, ohp and row

    good luck...
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    So you train every other muscle group, yet you skip the core. The core is also a muscle group is it not? A strong core can help transfer power from the legs to the arms, can help prevent lower back pain because when contracted, a strong core will help keep the body upright when performing certain lifts, and so on.

    Skipping it is not a good idea.
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    skipping is bad, but that doesnt mean hit it every singel day like a little high school prick. treat it like any other muscle group
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    OP, What is your definition of abdominal training?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz
    So you train every other muscle group, yet you skip the core. The core is also a muscle group is it not? A strong core can help transfer power from the legs to the arms, can help prevent lower back pain because when contracted, a strong core will help keep the body upright when performing certain lifts, and so on.

    Skipping it is not a good idea.
    What is your definition of core? As far as core strengthening exercises, I'd say those the OP listed are spot on regarding spinal stabilization. All of which have prime mover applications utilizing the core in its intended fashion. I've gotta say I'm an advocate of planks and variations as assistance spinal stabilization work. These exercises will addresses the core in the synergistic manner the muscle groups involved were meant to work.

    OP, I wouldn't say your neglecting your abs. Your just not feeding into the flawed mentalities out there of spinal flexion as the function of the abdominal complex. Like it was said you could incorporate assistance exercises to further the improvements. You are getting a hell of a lot of core work from something like an OHP, as long as your not lordotic or kyphotic, and it is being done in the manner the core was designed to work.
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    everything else you are doing besides bench hits core, its like "am I losing out by not doing biceps separately". I don't know how many people here look for big abs, and as far as strength for support during the big lifts if you are doing the big lifts you are workingthat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL
    everything else you are doing besides bench hits core, its like "am I losing out by not doing biceps separately". I don't know how many people here look for big abs, and as far as strength for support during the big lifts if you are doing the big lifts you are workingthat.
    Bench most definitely will activate the muscles involved with core/spinal stabilization. It will be even more so if he is utilizing leg drive in his press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    What is your definition of core? As far as core strengthening exercises, I'd say those the OP listed are spot on regarding spinal stabilization. All of which have prime mover applications utilizing the core in its intended fashion. I've gotta say I'm an advocate of planks and variations as assistance spinal stabilization work. These exercises will addresses the core in the synergistic manner the muscle groups involved were meant to work.

    OP, I wouldn't say your neglecting your abs. Your just not feeding into the flawed mentalities out there of spinal flexion as the function of the abdominal complex. Like it was said you could incorporate assistance exercises to further the improvements. You are getting a hell of a lot of core work from something like an OHP, as long as your not lordotic or kyphotic, and it is being done in the manner the core was designed to work.
    But they dont incorporate the entire range of motion that the core has. Rotation for example. Where in a squat or deadlift do you rotate? Is this not also the function of the core? To operate in the transverse plane?

    Even as you said, incorporating things like planks should be a definite.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz

    But they dont incorporate the entire range of motion that the core has. Rotation for example. Where in a squat or deadlift do you rotate? Is this not also the function of the core? To operate in the transverse plane?

    Even as you said, incorporating things like planks should be a definite.
    The degree of acceptable spinal rotation at any point suggests that the primary function of the abdominal complex is not to initiate rotation but rather to resist it. Thus protecting the spine from excess torque and resulting in dynamic stability and power through the proximal and most distal joints. While yes, the abdominal complex is capable of producing spinal rotation in the transverse plane, to a degree, it is a secondary function. The abdominal complex is also responsible for spinal flexion (ie. sit-up) and we all know the result of repeated spinal flexion under load. In addition during rotation the abdominal complex is still acting primarily as a spinal stabilizer because excess flexion/extension during rotation puts the individual at a extremely high risk of vertebral disk herniation. Just as a side note it seems as if you are assigning the word core to solely the abdominal complex, I could be mistaken but that's just how I read it. When you think of the core think outside of just the abs.
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    Thanks guys, a lot of great info. I use the word "abs" to explain the general core, I could see where that would be a pet peeve. I try to incorporate planks into my routine but I admitt I likely don't do them often enough. I know I get a lot of work through my other excercises so I wasn't entirely worried about it but was wondering.

    I've always hated doing abs and find them to be boring as hell. so I guess if I could find an interesting routine besides typical sit ups (which usually kill my back anyways) I could incorporate some of those into my routine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    The degree of acceptable spinal rotation at any point suggests that the primary function of the abdominal complex is not to initiate rotation but rather to resist it. Thus protecting the spine from excess torque and resulting in dynamic stability and power through the proximal and most distal joints. While yes, the abdominal complex is capable of producing spinal rotation in the transverse plane, to a degree, it is a secondary function. The abdominal complex is also responsible for spinal flexion (ie. sit-up) and we all know the result of repeated spinal flexion under load. In addition during rotation the abdominal complex is still acting primarily as a spinal stabilizer because excess flexion/extension during rotation puts the individual at a extremely high risk of vertebral disk herniation. Just as a side note it seems as if you are assigning the word core to solely the abdominal complex, I could be mistaken but that's just how I read it. When you think of the core think outside of just the abs.
    I don't see your point, are you arguing that he gets enough core activation through these lifts? That is where I disagree. As ZiR has stated in many a thread, many people (from observation) do not engage the core enough during the OHP turning what should be an OHP into a high incline press and the other exercises don't necessarily encourage core activation unless you have learnt how to activate the core.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz

    I don't see your point, are you arguing that he gets enough core activation through these lifts? That is where I disagree. As ZiR has stated in many a thread, many people (from observation) do not engage the core enough during the OHP turning what should be an OHP into a high incline press and the other exercises don't necessarily encourage core activation unless you have learnt how to activate the core.
    The point was that spinal rotation is not a primary function of the abdominal complex. If he is using good form and as previously stated, is not lordotic or kyphotic through the movements stated then he is utilizing the abdominal complex in its primary function, maintaining and stabilizing a neutral spine. Also I added the side point being that the core is not only the abs.
    With your point taken on the OHP and for arguments sake by viewing just the abs as the core you could actually end up weakening core strength/stability. What would be the reasoning for adding any specific additional assistance work to his lifts, if being properly executed, without first properly assessing him? For example if an individual has a slight posterior tilt of the pelvis and it is said to continue to do hanging leg raises because we need to strengthen and activate your "core" so you can better stabilize/activate during your lifts. The result will only make his core weaker by playing into the hypothetical lower cross syndrome. What actually needs strengthening in a situation like that would be in the posterior kinetic chain, also a part of the core.
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    But I never actually said that the abdominals were the only part of the core, in fact I never isolated any one part. I just stated the effects of a strong core and that it performs more than just flexion.

    Hence why I said why skip it; planks and other such static holds should be a must
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz
    But I never actually said that the abdominals were the only part of the core, in fact I never isolated any one part. I just stated the effects of a strong core and that it performs more than just flexion.

    Hence why I said why skip it; planks and other such static holds should be a must
    That's why in one of my posts I asked for your definition of core. Then I followed it with an inquiry asking if I was reading your statements wrong. When no response to either was given coupled with your statement about core lacking activation in an OHP due to hyperextension of the spine I assumed you were speaking just on the abdominals. This is because during a OHP if the individual does become overly lordotic the erector spinae is over active, a part of the posterior core, and there isn't a lack of core activation but rather an imbalance between abdominal activation and erector spinae activation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    But they dont incorporate the entire range of motion that the core has. Rotation for example. Where in a squat or deadlift do you rotate? Is this not also the function of the core? To operate in the transverse plane?

    Even as you said, incorporating things like planks should be a definite.
    his question was " am I hurting myself in other aspects of my training by not doing abs?" and in the short term over this particular periodization cycle the answer is no, regardless of anything else. For the purpose of what he is doing now, adding additional core exercises will not help towards his goal, and not adding them will not weaken his progress towards his goal of "gain as much weight as possible".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    I don't see your point, are you arguing that he gets enough core activation through these lifts? That is where I disagree.
    I would say he is getting enough core activation through these lifts. This is not his year round program, but a shorter term mass gain program. Even if it was year round, the question would be about what his long term goals are. If he isn't a sports playing athlete, he still is getting enough core activation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz

    many people (from observation) do not engage the core enough during the OHP turning what should be an OHP into a high incline press and the other exercises don't necessarily encourage core activation unless you have learnt how to activate the core.
    By not specifying and using the word core loosely, as you have, you actually have specified in this instance. By saying an individual, in lordosis and/or anterior pelvic tilt during an OHP, has a lack of core activation your are in fact assigning the function of the core to spinal flexion and isolating it to the anterior aspect of the core. The individual does not have a lack of core activation, they would have an imbalance in activation. The ensuing altered movement patters would be present and visible, as you have stated in a lordotic OHP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    That's why in one of my posts I asked for your definition of core. Then I followed it with an inquiry asking if I was reading your statements wrong. When no response to either was given coupled with your statement about core lacking activation in an OHP due to hyperextension of the spine I assumed you were speaking just on the abdominals. This is because during a OHP if the individual does become overly lordotic the erector spinae is over active, a part of the posterior core, and there isn't a lack of core activation but rather an imbalance between abdominal activation and erector spinae activation.
    Not necessarily. Iv seen people simply lean back from this exercise, not due to any imbalances, but simply to press more weight.
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    I still disagree. I think core traininng, especially planks and other stabilizing exercises should be included in any training program. You cna argue it as much as you want, but thats just my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    I still disagree. I think core traininng, especially planks and other stabilizing exercises should be included in any training program. You cna argue it as much as you want, but thats just my opinion.
    of course, but i think you're missing the point:

    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    The individual does not have a lack of core activation, they would have an imbalance in activation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    I still disagree. I think core traininng, especially planks and other stabilizing exercises should be included in any training program. You cna argue it as much as you want, but thats just my opinion.
    I'm fimiliar with planks but what other types of core stabilizing excercises would u reccomend?
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    What is your definition of core? As far as core strengthening exercises, I'd say those the OP listed are spot on regarding spinal stabilization. All of which have prime mover applications utilizing the core in its intended fashion. I've gotta say I'm an advocate of planks and variations as assistance spinal stabilization work. These exercises will addresses the core in the synergistic manner the muscle groups involved were meant to work.

    OP, I wouldn't say your neglecting your abs. Your just not feeding into the flawed mentalities out there of spinal flexion as the function of the abdominal complex. Like it was said you could incorporate assistance exercises to further the improvements. You are getting a hell of a lot of core work from something like an OHP, as long as your not lordotic or kyphotic, and it is being done in the manner the core was designed to work.
    hmm maybe thats what I get for not reading your entire post haha.That it exactly what I said. But how can you ascertain that he is performing the movements properly? And im not saying he isnt, but you can't know for sure.

    Essentially your arguing the saeme thing, however all I suggested that he maintain some form of stabilization exercises.

    I think where you got mislead was assuming that by core I meant abs, and therefore starting arguing something that I wasnt even suggesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    I'm fimiliar with planks but what other types of core stabilizing excercises would u reccomend?
    http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut...15&vid=2&hid=9

    I dont know if you can view this, but there are some on there I would do
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut...15&vid=2&hid=9

    I dont know if you can view this, but there are some on there I would do
    Nope no luck. It's asking for some sort of password
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    hmm maybe thats what I get for not reading your entire post haha.That it exactly what I said. But how can you ascertain that he is performing the movements properly? And im not saying he isnt, but you can't know for sure.
    taking this logic, there isn't any point in him performing additional core exercises either as they won't help if he isn't performing the movements properly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    taking this logic, there isn't any point in him performing additional core exercises either as they won't help if he isn't performing the movements properly.
    Hence why he should include them seperatly? That was my argument. In a perfect world, everyone would have engaged cores during exericises but this isnt a reality (lame perfect world but meh) so including them seperately should be a given, unless you know that your form is given, in which case my argument is mute. But without proper assessment how can I determine that telling him to stop would be more benefical or time effecient than incorporating them? In the long run, my advice could seriously hinder performance if I said "your hitting them enough as is" then it turns out he isnt.

    Same goes for abs, dropping them should mean that you have at least got perfect form to continue indirectly hitting them effectively, if not, you could end up hurting your other lifts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    Same goes for abs, dropping them should mean that you have at least got perfect form to continue indirectly hitting them effectively, if not, you could end up hurting your other lifts.

    i'm still not getting this logic. Lets just stick with one exercise, the OHP. If he isn't hitting core appropriately doing OHP then his overall form on OHP is such that the core isn't his limiting muscle set on this exercise either. If his core is the limiter, then he is already hitting his core as hard as he can for support for that exercise, which will be continuing to strengthen it. Or what is it I am missing here?

    And again, I totally understand that there is a difference if his care/concern is as part of sports performance, or he if was talking about his next year's worth of workout plan periodization. but this is a moderately short term program where his goal is mass gains (which tends to leave me thinking that unless he's in football, sports performance is moderately low on the list). I just don't particularly see him meaningfully cheating his performance or gains with 6-8 weeks of all core-heavy compound lifts and skipping separate core work. Again, some of the same logic could apply to "am I cheating myself by not working bis and tris separately".
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    i'm still not getting this logic. Lets just stick with one exercise, the OHP. If he isn't hitting core appropriately doing OHP then his overall form on OHP is such that the core isn't his limiting muscle set on this exercise either. If his core is the limiter, then he is already hitting his core as hard as he can for support for that exercise, which will be continuing to strengthen it. Or what is it I am missing here?

    And again, I totally understand that there is a difference if his care/concern is as part of sports performance, or he if was talking about his next year's worth of workout plan periodization. but this is a moderately short term program where his goal is mass gains (which tends to leave me thinking that unless he's in football, sports performance is moderately low on the list). I just don't particularly see him meaningfully cheating his performance or gains with 6-8 weeks of all core-heavy compound lifts and skipping separate core work. Again, some of the same logic could apply to "am I cheating myself by not working bis and tris separately".
    Ah I see where your coming from. Your answering his question directly, as in, will not doing ab exercises limit his ability on other lifts in which it won't; whereas i was arguing that they shouldnt be dropped irregardless of the reason. But thts just IMO because I think stability exericses should always be included, no matter if you're bulking, cutting or other. And they should be used in conjunction with all the big lifts.

    But I stress that is IMO and i'll always argue from the viewpoint in which ive been taught, until proven otherwise. As NYIron has done in the past
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    I planned on running this program for most of the winter so I'm probably going to add in some core routines. Tbh I have neglected my core quite a bit the last few years so I'm not exactly sure how to approach them. Anybody have any ideas?

    Thanks for all the info guys. Some of the terminology and technical stuff is a little over my head but appreciated none the less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon
    I planned on running this program for most of the winter so I'm probably going to add in some core routines. Tbh I have neglected my core quite a bit the last few years so I'm not exactly sure how to approach them. Anybody have any ideas?

    Thanks for all the info guys. Some of the terminology and technical stuff is a little over my head but appreciated none the less.
    Planks and variations (side planks, single leg raised, alternated arm and leg raised, body saws, forearms on stability ball, feet on stability ball, etc.) bridges, anti-rotation with resistance band or cable, anti-rot. horizontal press/vertical press, back extension, balance work, perfect your form on the compounds, so on and so forth get creative
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYiron View Post
    Planks and variations (side planks, single leg raised, alternated arm and leg raised, body saws, forearms on stability ball, feet on stability ball, etc.) bridges, anti-rotation with resistance band or cable, anti-rot. horizontal press/vertical press, back extension, balance work, perfect your form on the compounds, so on and so forth get creative
    I was actually putting together a routine to do twice a week (tues and thurs as I lift mon, weds, fri) and it went as follows:

    Planks
    Side planks
    V-Sit
    Bicycle crunch
    Bridge
    Single leg bridge
    Skip with twist

    Not set in stone but looking foward to it actually
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    Nope no luck. It's asking for some sort of password
    Sorry man, it was just an article on types of stablizing ab work, most of which NY has just stated. I found it through my university's databases but because theyr paid for, you need a password to access some.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    Ah I see where your coming from. Your answering his question directly, as in, will not doing ab exercises limit his ability on other lifts in which it won't; whereas i was arguing that they shouldnt be dropped irregardless of the reason. But thts just IMO because I think stability exericses should always be included, no matter if you're bulking, cutting or other. And they should be used in conjunction with all the big lifts.

    But I stress that is IMO and i'll always argue from the viewpoint in which ive been taught, until proven otherwise. As NYIron has done in the past
    Well, there are other pieces I don't think you are seeing too as to why I was asking. The overall conversation and data was good, but specificity was missing. Particularly goal specificity. A person who is training as a physique competitor vs football linebacker vs baseball pitcher vs someone who does parkour all would have different answers to this question as whether more core or core rotational is particularly valuable. Their whole training is significantly different, so there is no 1 size fits all answer.

    Also missing and hugely important in the real world is time. Its great to say that everyone should be doing core, but if someone has 4.5 hours a week in the gym and is doing 5x5 with the lifts he has listed it means doing core either cuts back on reps/sets/# of major compound exercises, or not doing any cardio. And even if directly time isn't the problem, but there are only 3 days a week he can reach the gym (even if he's there 2 hours) you run into other issues. So depending on details, addding those additional core exercises in could actually lower his gains in the other areas.

    So definitely in a general physiology way what you were saying was right, and for a number of goals it was as well. But that doesn't necessarily have it fitting his goals, or leave it to where him making the time to do more core won't hamper what else he is doing. Not really so much thinking about it for JoeySon, but so you think about this going forwards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeySon View Post
    I'm fimiliar with planks but what other types of core stabilizing excercises would u reccomend?
    http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/...-ab-exercises/
    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...ore_training_1
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Well, there are other pieces I don't think you are seeing too as to why I was asking. The overall conversation and data was good, but specificity was missing. Particularly goal specificity. A person who is training as a physique competitor vs football linebacker vs baseball pitcher vs someone who does parkour all would have different answers to this question as whether more core or core rotational is particularly valuable. Their whole training is significantly different, so there is no 1 size fits all answer.

    Also missing and hugely important in the real world is time. Its great to say that everyone should be doing core, but if someone has 4.5 hours a week in the gym and is doing 5x5 with the lifts he has listed it means doing core either cuts back on reps/sets/# of major compound exercises, or not doing any cardio. And even if directly time isn't the problem, but there are only 3 days a week he can reach the gym (even if he's there 2 hours) you run into other issues. So depending on details, addding those additional core exercises in could actually lower his gains in the other areas.

    So definitely in a general physiology way what you were saying was right, and for a number of goals it was as well. But that doesn't necessarily have it fitting his goals, or leave it to where him making the time to do more core won't hamper what else he is doing. Not really so much thinking about it for JoeySon, but so you think about this going forwards.
    Core exercises don't have to be done in a gym as they dont require any real specialist equipment, except in some cases a stability ball. If time is a limiting factor then focusing on the big lifts is a must and there I wouldn't disagree. That would be like swapping bicep work for back work which is pointless as the latter works the former. But then core work could be done at home, and it doesnt have to take long. My routine takes <10 mins spread over 2 days. Stability exercises on one day and back extension, rotation and flexion done on other days. But even im getting a bit iffy on the flexion work and whether or not its beneficial. I always balance my work as I do with any group of muscles but im not too sure about it in the long run.

    I come from largely a sport background, played rugby, soccer, basketball and very occasionally hit a ball at a driving range; all which incorporate some form of rotational work which is why I find roational work helpful, but it can be used for other things to. The core helps on power transfer though, so whether throwing, or performing push presses (to name only a few) the core helps leg power transfer from the legs to the arms. Momentum can be lost through a kink in the kinetic chain, so creating a stable chain will help with the transfer. And as the core has a huge responsility in terms of posture, form during exercises, and most things work around your centre of gravity (i.e balance) a stronger core will assist in the maintainece of these.

    Hence the importance I place on the entire group.
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    not at all, deadlifts when done with proper form work your abs as well, I got good abs (right now I cant see them cuz im bulking) just by doing deadlifts and sometimes some abs exercises once in a while but yeah its def better if u train them..
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    yes and no. For visuals no..for function and core strength sure..Everything starts from a solid foundation. heavy squats and deadlifts hit the core harder then isolated direct core work.
  

  
 

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