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True Core Fitness

Forget ab training, strength and conditioning specialist Lou Schuler explains the importance of training your core.

Promoting the new by burying the old

By the time NROL for Abs hit bookstores in January 2011, my rebuilding project was more or less complete. Thanks to a combination of mobility work, core training, and good old-fashioned lifting (along with surgery to repair my hernia), I felt better than I had in years, and looked okay by my own standards. (I won’t pretend I’m the best judge of that.)

I had forgotten about those tests of core strength that I described at the beginning. But when the subject came up recently, I decided to give them another shot. It had been at least three years since I’d done my last sit-up.

I got down on the floor, with my legs straight, heels close together, arms extended overhead. My goal: a single sit-up without twisting, jerking, or lifting a leg off the floor. It was so easy I stopped to double-check the article to make sure I was doing it correctly.

I was.

Back down on the floor, I knocked out 10, and probably could’ve done more. The results, I’ll admit, surprised me. Three years’ worth of stability-focused exercises had not only helped me get back qualities I’d lost to injuries, they had improved my ability to do sit-ups, a quality I wasn’t deliberately training.

That is the strongest argument I can make for Alwyn’s approach to core training, and for the program he created for NROL for Abs.

So tell me again why so many people are still doing crunches?

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