The more muscle you build, the slimmer you'll be. It may sound confusing, but the development of muscle helps your body to burn away unwanted fat. In fact, you can even demolish extra calories at rest just by having a higher muscle to fat ratio. When it comes to super-powering your body, there are a number of complicated muscle building core exercises out there that can seem too tough for the standard novice.
Fortunately, if you're looking for a jargon-free selection of muscle building core exercises, you've come to the right place, as the following three workout elements can be enough to help you pack on a serious amount of muscle - in all of the right places.
1. The Squat
The squat has certainly earned its reputation as an expert tool for great body-sculpting results. When it comes to muscle building core exercises, this is a great place to start, as it's one of those workout elements that anyone can do - regardless of their fitness level.
If you're a novice, you should start simply by using your body weight and situating yourself near a wall so you have something to fall back against if you struggle. Keeping your entire body as straight as possible, and your toes pointing outwards, simply bend at the hips and knees as though you were about to sit on an imaginary chair - until your thighs are almost parallel with the floor. Hold the position for as long as you can, then push back up.
As your strength improves, you can maximize this move by resting a barbell across your shoulders, using the upward push from the squat to lift the weight. This action will work your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes at the same time, while also putting extra focus on your lower back muscles and shoulders.
Pro Tip: Remember that warming up is vital, as squatting is very stressful for the joints of the lower body. If you're concerned about knee strength, using a knee compression sleeve can be a good way to access some extra stability during your workout.
2. The Bench Press
The champion of muscle building core exercises for the upper body, the bench press is a powerful yet simple movement ideal for targeting the pectorals, triceps, and deltoids. Remember, if you're just getting started, use smaller weights until you've built up some extra muscle. The last thing you want is an injury devastating your fitness plans.
Find a flat bench and lie on your back, holding the barbell at a grip slightly wider than shoulder-length. Press the bar straight down to your chest, and lift it back up - it's as easy as that. There are other advanced techniques such as chain presses, board presses, and bench press negatives, but you'll come to those at a later time.
The bench press is the best upper-body muscle builder because it allows you to focus as much weight on one area as possible Just make sure that if you're going to use heavier weights you use a spotter.
3. Wide Grip Chin-Up
Finally, if you wanted to narrow down muscle building core exercises to find the one best for your back - this would be it. The wide grip chin-up generally focuses on building muscles in the lats, but it also targets the biceps, back, and forearms, as well as the upper back.
To get started, find a chin-up machine or chin-up bar, and hold it in a grip that's wider than your shoulder length. Make sure your palms are facing away from your body, and start the exercise in a sort of hanging position - your arms fully extended. Use the bar to pull your entire body upwards until your chin is higher than the bar itself, then slowly lower back to the starting position.
If you haven't already had some back training or lat training, then you might struggle with wide grip chin-ups, so you may need to use an assisted chin-up machine, or pull-down machine to strengthen the muscles before you get started.