I don't really think that my core is being worked enough when performing the compound lifts of strong lifts, as the rest of my body has caught up while my stomach and waist are still really flabby and have no real firmness comparatively. I'm not asking "what exercise do I do to reduce stomach fat", I'm asking if I can add in some cable crunches and another auxiliary exercise to strengthen and firm my core for other lifts and if so what would you suggest?

As I understand exercises like sit ups and laying crunches and other variations(leg raises) are limited mostly by the inability to use weight above your body weight effectively so weighted exercises for abs/core are recommended.


  • Consider the L-sit. (will write a full answer later if I get the chance) It seems deceptively easy, and might even have carryover to other exercises later (L-sit pullups anyone?)
    – VPeric
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 21:15

2 Answers 2


In my opinion the best core exercise is a prone bridge. You can also do side bridges for more emphasis on the obliques.

  • I agree, you can add core training exercises to your program. I do deadlifts, squats, military press, and 3 days a week I opt for some weighted crunches. 80lbs of resistance for 80-100 reps. Just do it til you can't.
    – Hituptony
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:04

You seem to believe the spot reduction myth. Cable crunches and other ab work for strength and endurance will have no measurable effect on your belly and waist flabbiness.

Secondly, the squat, deadlift, and overhead press are all core exercises, and quite good ones. If you're not getting enough work now, you will soon, because you're adding weight each workout. It's not possible to have a weak core and squat or deadlift heavy.

Therefore I recommend adding no additional core exercises to StrongLifts 5x5.

  • 1
    For the poster in question I agree with everything you've said, however those 3 exercises alone won't give you the proper balance of ab and erector strength. So at some point core exercises are needed to keep your core in balance.
    – maxywb
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 18:13
  • "I'm not asking "what exercise do I do to reduce stomach fat"" - OP
    – Hituptony
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:03
  • Any further input? I was asking for strength purposes, not to "spot reduce". As these guys said. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:28
  • @Hituptony "as the rest of my body has caught up while my stomach and waist are still really flabby". I don't think there's a tremendous imbalance, and though there's nothing wrong with ab work I don't think the OP should worry about any at the moment. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 20:21
  • 1
    @ChristopherBruce For strength purposes, add weight to your squat and overhead press and make sure you're keeping good form, i.e. nice and tight through the abs during those lifts. Accessory work is not really necessary when you're not yet using a bunch of weight in the primary lifts. Furthermore, you're right at that place in the progression where people often simultaneously A) get bored and want to monkey with the program and B) start to lift challenging weights, meaning they need to double down on the fundamentals instead of adding new stuff. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 20:24

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