Zach, thanks for your article — totally agreed on your point about too-narrow and sub-optimal focus a lot of people have on specific “sit up” type exercises only.
To complement your suggestions which are centered on the gym and free weights, I’d like to tee up something that might seem at the very opposite end of the workout spectrum: yoga.
The strenuous variations of yoga provide a fabulous core workout (just take a look at most yoga instructors — female or male). All the abdominal muscles, lower back, obliques (sides of your body), intercostals (muscles between your ribs)…a good yoga practice hits it all. And helps promote de-stressing and tranquility-of-mind, too.
I bet you’d tell me that I can benefit from hitting the gym more and doing compound movements. You’d be at least partly right! On my side, I’m suggesting that many of your weights-oriented readers can benefit by folding yoga into their fitness regimen!