So the program I’m currently doing doesn’t include any strictly ab exercises. But my abs still feel sore!!!
It’s magic! Ha! Jk! The main exercises that are training my core during this program are not what you would expect! Squats, deadlifts, strict shoulder press, bent over rows, bench press…. they are all working my core. Essentially they are full body exercises with primary focuses.
Squats require you to use your core to help push yourself up. Your core is used when deadlifting to help pick the bar up. Over head presses are where I feel my core being worked the most. It takes a lot of stabilizing muscles put push a heavy bar overhead. Bent over rows are a second for me when it comes to having a sore core. If you are not activating your core during bent over rows, your back with be rounded and you can injure yourself very badly. In flat bench press your core is working to help push the bar up as well.
All of these exercises are called compound lifts as they have a primary focus but also work other areas. If you’re just starting in lifting, these exercises should be the first ones to master your form. They will be the most beneficial in the long run and are fantastic if you’re short on time. Enjoy and work that core!