Abs Vs Core

Getting six pack abs is perhaps one of the most common goals that trainees are looking after.

However, the six-pack is just one of the components of your abdominal musculature so it is a good idea to learn how to differentiate between the six-pack and the core.

In knowing the differences between the two, you will be able to create a much stronger core, overall.

This article is dedicated specifically to explaining the differences between the two, so let’s get to it!

The 6-Pack

It is a fact that a well-chiseled set of abs can make or break your physique, as it makes up a large portion of the front side of your torso.

The six-pack is technically 1 single muscle, called the “Rectus abdominis” and its main function is to move the body between the ribcage and the pelvis.

This muscle is targeted when you do exercises that make you curl your torso, or lift your legs/knees up.

Now, oppositely, the CORE is a group of muscles and as a matter of fact, the rectus abdominis is a part of your core.

Certainly, because of the fact that the core is a bunch of different muscle groups, it has plenty of important functions, including but not limited to:

  1. Maintaining organ position
  2. Spinal support
  3. Stabilization
  4. Breathing assistance 
  5. Balance

What Is The Core Made Of?

Alright so now you learned the basic difference between the six-pack and the core – The six-pack is a part of the core, which serves a variety of different functions.

So now you know the difference: The abs are a single muscle group, while the core is a set of muscles that includes the abs. 

The abs, obliques, mid and lower back, and glutes are the main core muscles.

Try to feel your core engaging the next time you do a gym exercise like cable triceps pushdowns.

When it does, it is stabilizing the movement and helping you to remain in a static, upright position.

Unlike the abs, which serve only one function, the core is much more versatile. 

To say the least, the core contains muscles that are deep and, for most trainees, unknown or ignored.

They are ignored often, because most people just focus on the superficial abdominal musculature (the six-pack).

And though the six-pack looks cool, you must not ignore the other components of your core musculature, as they will help you perform better overall.

Athletes who focus on the heart are much more stable and healthy during dynamic physical activity than those who only exercise their “six-pack.” 

Furthermore, having a solid core is a great way to avoid certain injuries that are due to underdeveloped core musculature.

How To Train Your Core

This article was written for the sole purpose of instilling in you the belief that your mid-section is much more than a good-looking six-pack.

The six-pack is just one of the components of your core musculature, meaning that you should focus on that… And more!

Besides training the six-pack, you should also target the lower back, obliques, glutes and inner abdominal muscles.

In doing so, you will not only develop a good-looking set of abs, but also a functional core that will help you with every other exercise, as well as your overall athletic performance.

Top 5 Abs & Core Exercises

Now here are our best picks for exercises which you can use to target the six-pack and the core.

You can include this in your regular training routine, but make sure that you are not doing them the day before heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts, as this may compromise your performance and stability on those exercises.

#1 Floor crunch

The crunch is the most famous abs exercise and even though many people dismiss it, it can be a viable tool for six-pack development.

One of the best variations is the floor crunch, during which you only flex the abs, without getting your torso completely off of the ground.

This allows for a strong, prominent contraction, which will inevitably bring better development of your abs.

#2 Hanging Leg Raises

The hanging leg raise is another great abs and core exercise, which can help you strengthen your six-pack and other stabilizing muscle groups.

The tricky thing with this exercise is getting into a rhythm, without swinging the torso out of control.

This is only possible with a greater activation of the stabilizing core muscles, making it an overall perfect core exercise.

If this exercise is too hard for you, you can do a hanging knee raise, where instead of lifting your legs straight, you only lift the knees up towards the chest.

#3 Twisted Hanging Leg Raises

As we mentioned, the six-pack is just a part of your core and on its sides, you can find the obliques.

A well-developed set of obliques gives a complete look of the midsection and one of the best exercises to target them is the twisted hanging leg raise.

This is essentially the same as a hanging leg raise… But with a twist!

By twisting the legs to the side during the raise, you allow for good oblique activation, making it a perfect exercise to get totally chiseled obliques!

#4 Plank

So far, all 3 exercises are dynamically involving, meaning that there is a phase of contraction and then relaxation.

Truth is however, that the core and the abs not only provide for dynamic strength, but also static such.

If done right, the plank can be a great tool to develop static strength, which in turn will help you not only have better-looking abs, but also, a more stabilized and balanced core overall.

#5 Stomach Vacuum

Usually, most people train abs because they want a better-looking midsection and waist.

Well, though it is not a very common exercise, the stomach vacuum is a thing you can do to make your waist smaller and tighter.

Besides that, it also engages the inner abs musculature, making it a perfect exercise for overall stability and abdominal control.

The exercise is simple – Take a deep breath, exhale slowly while flexing the abs, then suck your stomach in and straighten the torso.

Once you do that, you can either hold the vacuum statically or play around with the abdominal muscles and flex them.

This exercise is best done on an empty stomach and you should get into it gradually, because if you are not used to this type of flexion, you might trigger your gag reflex.

Conclusion

Your core is much more than just your six-pack, meaning that you are better off doing more than just crunches.

Think of your core as the foundation of your body, which helps during most movements and especially more dynamic, athletic types of activity.

Diversify from the thousands of crunches and include exercises like side twists, leg raises, hyperextensions for the lower back and even stomach vacuums!

Do all this and you will improve your core much more than you thought possible!

Don’t limit yourself.

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Training and Fat Loss.

If you’re trying to lose fat, you have to imminently make a change to your lifestyle, by manipulating your nutrition and activity levels.

However, though fat loss sounds simple, there are many important considerations to take into account when you are going through that period.

One of those is namely the approach to training while losing fat, as it can make or break your process.

In this article, we’ll go through every important detail regarding fat-loss training.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!


The Deficit.
One of the underlying principles of fat loss, is the so-called “caloric deficit” which implies consuming less calories than your body requires to maintain its weight and physiological processes.

In doing so, you allow the body to burn more fat than it stores, thus tapping into your fat reserves and burning them off.

Though a caloric deficit is good for fat loss, it inevitably leads to loss of lean body mass (LBM), along with your fat loss.

Your goal while losing fat, is to reduce the losses of lean body mass, in order to retain health, energy and metabolic rate.

Before you get into training during the weight loss phase, make sure you have the following in check:

Moderate caloric deficit of 400-500 calories
Sufficient protein of ~1g per lb of body weight
Good amounts of fat – 0.35-0.45g per lb of body weight
Sufficient amounts of carbohydrates (remaining calories after calculating protein and fats)

Once you have these in check, you are halfway there on your goal of preserving LBM.
How Training Can Help You
Besides proper nutrition, training is another thing that can help you retain your muscle mass and keep your metabolic rate up.

Though a caloric deficit is the only MANDATORY thing for weight loss, it is highly recommended that you do your workout sessions as well.

In doing so, you will stimulate the muscle protein synthesis inside of the muscle cells and thus, create stimulus for greater retention of lean body mass (including muscle mass).

This is mainly relevant for resistance training, which can also be combined with cardio training.
Important Training Considerations
Before you get into the gym and go all in on your workouts however, you have to factor in a couple of things.

Otherwise, you risk poor recovery and chronic exhaustion.

Here are our best fat loss training tips:

Lower the intensity (Slightly)

Due to the fact you are in a deficit of energy, you inevitably have to train at a different level of intensity.

Because intensity is demanding by nature, you have to make sure that you aren’t reaching failure far too often.

It is recommended that you work with heavy weights, but not too heavy.

Remember to always leave 1-3 repetitions in reserve, as this is what will allow you to recover well, though you are in a caloric deficit.

Do More isolated movements

Though heavy, compound movements must be at the core of your fat loss workouts, you can also include more isolated movements.

These exercises emphasize on one specific muscle group and improve the shape and details of the muscle itself.

Looking for aesthetically pleasing muscle separations? Don’t forget your isolations!

Flex, flex, flex!

Besides helping you retain muscle mass, training is supposed to bring out the fine details of your musculature during the weight loss phase.

This can be done not only through isolated exercises, but also… Flexing!

That’s right – Just flexing your muscles and holding that peak flexion, can help you further chisel your biological sculpture!

On top of that, practicing posing can greatly help with your presentation and how you feel on your own skin.

Flexing in front of the mirror looks stupid? Not anymore, it has benefits!

Conclusion

During a period of weight loss, you lose both fat tissue and lean body mass, which is every other tissue in the body except fat.

Your goal is to not only lose fat, but to also retain as much of that LBM as possible.

To do so, you must ensure that your caloric deficit is moderate and supported by solid amounts of protein, fats and carbohydrates.

After having checked those important points, you must engage in regular resistance training, which is exercised at moderately high intensity levels, without reaching failure.

In doing all of this, you will set yourself up for the healthiest, leanest and happiest version of you!

So, what is there to lose? Go crush your goals!

Gym Gainz Apparel. When should you not work out?
Always be sure it’s safe to workout!

Positive Gainz/s

Drink more water
Drink more water 💦

Surely Gains are just a thing for Musclebound gym heads that pump iron 24/7 right? Not entirely…

To go for a short run rather than watching Netflix for an hour= Gains

To get to bed half an hour earlier on week nights= Gains

To swap takeaways {not all of them} for home cooked meals= Gains

You get the idea. Lots of small changes can make huge positive changes on the way you live you life and the way you think about the benefits these changes make with very little effort at all, meaning you can constantly make positive gains one step at a time without it feeling like you are constricted to a whirlwind of life changing must-do demands.

Once these small changes become part of a routine they sub consciously form the start of good habits and over time they become normal behaviour.

Physical fitness and Mental fitness go hand in hand. To decide to exercise in the first place comes from being mentally aware that –

1- I am pretty fit but I could be fitter
2-I haven’t done any exercise for ages…I really should

And so on, but the thought for most to start out on a program of Workouts and meal plans is hugely daunting and can be unnerving when on the search for information on what is the best way to reach a certain goal in the best/fastest/newest way that everyone is raving about and has absolutely changed their life…

So for anyone reading this that has thought they maybe should start getting fitter and living a healthier lifestyle , it really is ok to start small. Even the 3 examples of small gains at the start of this post could make a positive impact on your life, from a Physical fitness point of view and definitely a mental fitness one. Just choosing to do 1 thing differently can pave the way for a dramatic change of lifestyle for the good.

One last thing, drink more water, if this is your first small gain, do it.

Gainz/s are for everyone…

A New Beginning

strong shirtless sportsman jogging on bright day
Photo by Savvas Stavrinos on Pexels.com

A long time has passed since the start of our journey with Gym Gainz Apparel and a lot of that time has admittedly been spent thinking rather than doing and this has meant absolutely ZERO productivity in all areas of our Start Up.

Like everyone that has lived through the Covid pandemic, we have had even more time to think over things, make new plans, ignore new plans then make a newer, better plan until we finally decided to go for once again but this time with a different approach to what we want Gym Gainz Apparel to be.

In our mind’s we know there is a place for this and even though there is an abundance of Fitness and Gym website’s and untold amounts of ‘Experts’ on Instagram (this being our main deterrent not to move forward)we are positive that we can offer something that will try to cut through the glitz and glamour of the ‘New’ fitness and offer a real alternative to the way you read and digest the information in front of you.

Its very easy to get caught up in what you see on Social Media because it’s ultimately driven to cause these feelings and reactions with the way that it is delivered to you which is fine to a point but what about after that, what about actually getting fit and staying fit? Using the information that is available to you to make positive changes in your life and being dedicated to sticking to them.

The incentive to deliver this is now our main aim, simple,understandable posts that offer fitness tips for all with sensible workout plans and doable exercise routines , plus meal ideas and step by step programmes for living a new healthier lifestyle that is easy to maintain and fun to complete and stick to.

Now you may be thinking… ‘but they are called Gym Gainz Apparel, where’s the Apparel?’ Well, we will be selling products alongside our informative sections of the site, some of which complement the routines and exercises that we provide to help you easily and cheaply find the right things to get started.

We do use Instagram and Twitter to deliver links to our content and appreciate that these platforms are very popular and helpful so by all means follow us there if you are interested in what we are going to produce but you can also subscribe to our blog for free and get notifications when new material is posted to help you stay totally up to date.

Here’s to a New Beginning, we can’t wait to get started!

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