7 of the best barbell exercises for building a strong core

Barbells aren’t just for bench presses, squats, and deadlifts — they’re a unique and functional tool that can help strengthen your abdominals.

While many of us long for that elusive “six pack,” aesthetics are hardly the only reason to train your core. Your abdominal muscles (like the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and obliques) are responsible for stabilizing your hips, spine, and the rest of your body during any type of movement. Faster runs, heavier squats, higher box jumps, and all other athletic goals are dependent on having strong, conditioned abs to provide a solid base of support.  Without sufficient core strength, you run a huge risk of injury — no matter how “in shape” you are.  

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