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I find that I never have time to focus on abs when I work out. If I continue to strengthen other parts of my body (I consistently do squats, deadlift, benchpress, shoulderpress) and continue to neglect working on core strength, will I run into problems?

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You squat and deadlift. Don't those work your abs and core? – Dave Liepmann Nov 11 '12 at 1:23
I was under the impression that squats and deadlift almost exclusively target legs/back – Mark McKenna Nov 11 '12 at 1:40
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You squat, deadlift, and press. While these each stress specific muscles more than others (presses working more shoulder strength, deadlifting working more legs and back, et cetera), they are all whole-body exercises that work the core. If done heavy, these exercises demand and develop a significant amount of core strength, including the abdominals, as stabilizers. Along with your lower back, they isometrically hold your trunk in place for heavy lifting.

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Good to know, thanks – Mark McKenna Nov 11 '12 at 13:51

I like this article about abs by Mark Rippetoe.

As the loads pass 200 and then 300+ pounds, it becomes enough of a challenge for the now more experienced lifter that a helluva lot of ab work is required to squat and pull properly. At weights above this range, most lifters find that a belt helps them produce harder ab contractions and therefore maintain better spinal stability, and this is why it is common that a lifter’s first squat workout with a belt produces new levels of ab fatigue.

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