(Excerpted from bodybuilding.com)
See full article with video reference at: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/beginner-core-training-guide.htm
The core is composed of four different parts. Below, I will discuss where each is located, what its function is in the body, and also a couple exercises you can do to stimulate the muscle.
Location: Covers the area from sternum all the way down to the pelvis bone.
Function: Pulls the upper torso to the hips
Exercises: Crunch or Sit-up
Location: Side of the waist.
Function: Tilt and twist the torso
Exercises: Side Bends and Decline Oblique Crunches
Location: Between the side of the rib cage. It comes into play when you flex the torso and twist from side to side.
Function: Elevation and depression of the ribs
Exercise: Air Bike
Location: Between front abs and lats.
Function: Pulling of the scapula forward and around like in the motion of throwing a punch
Exercises: Barbell Pullovers and Cable Crunches
EXERCISE REP RANGES
The core is made up of primarily fast-twitch muscle fibers. Fast-twitch muscle fibers are more dense than their counterparts (the slow-twitch muscle fibers. Hence, hard, heavy, and explosive bouts of exercise will stimulate fast-twitch fibers a lot more.
This means that core training should be in the moderate rep range for best growth. No more endless reps of crunches and sit-ups like you’ve done in the past. Focus on sets in the 8-15 rep range.
Now that you understand which muscles make up the core, their function, location and the rep range needed to stimulate them, let’s give you some workouts to help you get that strong muscular core.
All exercises should be performed in perfect form because bad form or habits you start now will follow you and will lead to lack of progress or injury in the future. Many, if not all, the exercises will be new to you. So make sure you use the Exercise Guide on Bodybuilding.com to help you with your form.
VIDEOS OF ABDOMINAL EXERCISES