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Photo: Pressmaster (Shutterstock) Core strength is important: We use it when we carry a bag of groceries, get up from the floor , push open a door, or punch a punching bag. But too often, we think of “core” training as something done specifically with crunches or planks. And that’s a shame, because our cores do so much more. If you do nothing but crunches— thinking you’re going to get a six-pack —you’re being just as short-sighted as somebody who never does any core work because it’s boring or they “forget.” So if you’d like to build a stronger midsection, try thinking about it a little differently. Treat your core like any other muscle When we train our arms, we get stronger and progress to heavier dumbbells. When we train our legs, we end up squatting more weight over time. So why would we train our core any differently? You wouldn’t do 100 curls with a 5-pound weight when the 25-pounder is right there , so why would you do 100 crunches instead of finding a more challenging exercise? I mean, if you love doing crunches by the hundreds, I won’t stop you. But you have way more options. Another thing we can learn from other types of strength training is that your core work doesn’t have to be an everyday thing. If you try a more challenging core move and find yourself sore afterward, you may be thinking “ How can I do this every day? It’s too […]