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Monkey Vocabulary Decoded

From short ‘tsiks’ and ‘ekks’ to drawn-out ‘phees’ — all the sounds produced by marmoset monkeys are made up of individual syllables of fixed length, according to a new study. The smallest units of vocalization and their rhythmic production in the brain of our relatives could also have been a prerequisite of human speech.

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5 Ways to Torch Your Core in Every Workout

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This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com. Check out the rest of the exercises at Daily Burn.

At the core of every movement is just that: your core. And while lots of times “core” and “abs” become synonymous, it’s not 100% correct to use them interchangeably. Your rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus and obliques do comprise your midsection, but those aren’t the only muscles involved. Your back, hips and glutes also provide that stable base you need for stepping forward and backward, jumping side-to-side or turning all about. So to get a serious core workout you need to work them all.

“Core strength and stability not only enhances physical and athletic performance, but also helps maintain and correct posture and form, and prevent injury,” says Andia Winslow, a Daily Burn Audio Workouts trainer. “Those who have an awareness of their core and ability to engage it properly also have enhanced proprioception — or a sense of the positions of their extremities, without actually seeing them.”

Just picture elite athlete’s movement, Winslow explains, and how rhythmic and easy they travel through space, often in several planes of motion at the same time. They can thank strong trunk muscles for that. “Core should be a focus in every workout,” Winslow says. “Workouts won’t be as effective without proper core engagement.”

That’s not to say crunches need a permanent place in your sweat sessions. You can easily sneak in added core challenges during other common exercises. “When folks elect to add difficulty to workouts, they often increase weight, repetition or duration. Another — and often more effective — way to increase the intensity is by altering stance, ground contact, and/or dynamic variance equipment [think: sand or water],” Winslow says. Shifting your weight, testing your balance, or focusing on sticking a landing, all engage your middle more.

Learn how to get a solid core workout in every strength session with these sneaky midsection-scorching strategies from Winslow.

RELATED: 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

Strength Tips: How to Work Your Core in Every Workout

Photo: Twenty20

1. Add weight overhead. 

Whether you’re doing squats or lunges, Winslow suggests pushing or holding a weight overhead — or even just keeping your arms straight up — to activate your abs and shoulders. These muscle groups have to work harder to keep your spine in a neutral position so you don’t over-arch, straining your low back. Translation: Put your hands in the air like you really care (about your core workout).

2. Hold your step-ups and pull-ups.

Stepping up onto a bench, chair or box requires you to use one leg, driving off your heel to reach the top. While balancing on one limb already works your core to keep you upright, Winslow explains that pausing at the top (with knee raised) will incorporate your midsection more. When you stand up, simply hold for a two- to five-second count, then go back down.

Same strategy holds (literally!) for chin-ups and pull-ups. By pausing with your chin at the bar, your core fires to keep you steady and in one solid line. Leg or arm day turned core workout.

RELATED: 6 Exercises for the Ultimate Back and Chest Workout

Photo: Twenty20

3. Stick a single-leg landing on box jumps.

To crank up the core work in a box jump, start by bringing the hop height down. Then, keep the explosive leap to one leg and really stick the landing. (Hold it at the top for one to three seconds before standing up and stepping off.) One full-body exercise at its finest.

4. Do a single-arm dumbbell press or fly.

Make your arm and ab routine go hand-in-hand. Moving one arm at a time in exercises like a dumbbell press or fly, drives your midsection to work against the rotation to keep your hips square and your back straight. This will work whether you’re standing or lying on your back. Lift your hips into a bridge and you target your glutes, too. So many muscles; so much less time.

RELATED: 5 Planks, 10 Minutes: Your Ultimate Abs Workout

Photo: Daily Burn 365

5. Go for a twist. 

We tend to rotate in multiple directions all day, from turning to give a fellow studio mate a high five to twisting around to chat with a co-worker. But to keep that movement safe, your core needs enough strength to prop you upright and protect the spine. Enter: rotational exercises to build stability. Try twisting your torso at the top of a step-up or the bottom of a front or side lunge, so your body learns to better handle those turns you take throughout the day.

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Sea urchins erode rock reefs, excavate pits for themselves

Through their grazing activity, sea urchins excavate rock and form the pits they occupy. This activity may cause significant bioerosion of temperate reefs, according to a study published Feb. 21, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Michael Russell from Villanova University, US, and colleagues.

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Tropical trees use unique method to resist drought

Tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest may be more drought resistant than previously thought, according to a new study. That’s good news, since the Amazon stores about 20 percent of all carbon in the Earth’s biomass, which helps reduce global warming by lowering the planet’s greenhouse gas levels.

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Even Light Exercise Can Help You Live Longer

A new study shows that small bouts of light physical activity are enough to increase lifespan in older men.

Government guidelines recommended that adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. However, only about half of American adults actually meet those recommendations, and for older adults, they may seem hard to achieve. But a new report published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that there’s a way to tweak guidelines to make them more feasible for older people, while still maintaining health.

In the report, researchers looked at about 1,180 men — average age, 78 — who agreed to wear devices that measured their movements for seven days. They were followed for about five years. The researchers found that the overall volume of exercise, not necessarily how long or how hard someone exercised in a session, mattered most for longevity.

The men in the study didn’t even need to exercise for long periods of time to experience positive results. Sporadic bouts of exercise throughout the day, even if each bout was under 10 minutes, had similar benefits to lifespan as exercising more than 10 minutes at a time. This method seemed to fit into men’s lives, too; 66% of the men in the study were able to meet their weekly recommended exercise if they did it in shorter bursts.

MORE: The Surprising Secrets to Living Longer — And Better

Every 30 minutes of light intensity activity per day — like going on a walk or gardening — was linked to a 17% lower risk of early death in the study. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity had an even stronger link to a longer life: doing it was associated with a 33% reduction in death risk for every 30 minutes of exercise. However, the fact that light exercise still appeared to have a notable longevity benefit is important, the study authors write.

If more research is able to confirm the findings, it could suggest that getting just a few minutes of exercise at a time — even if it’s light — can lower the risk of early death in men. The researchers conclude that their findings “could refine physical activity guidelines and make them more achievable for older adults with low activity levels: stressing the benefits of all activities, however modest, from light intensity upwards,” as well as encouraging people to do any level of physical activity throughout the day.

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The Upper Body Exercise Alicia Vikander Does for Amazing Arms

When Alicia Vikander, 29, steps into the role of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (in theaters March 16), her upper body strength will be on display. And this circuit was key, says her trainer, Magnus Lygdbäck. “It was crucial to Alicia’s aesthetics, helping her shape her arms, and it gave her the strength needed to wield weapons and climb.”

Alternating Bicep Curl + Double Biceps Curl

Stand with feet hipwidth apart and arms at sides, a dumbbell in each hand (A). Bend right elbow, and curl weight to shoulder (B). Lower to start. Repeat on left. Do 8 reps per side. Follow with double curls, cutting weight in half. Do 10 reps. Repeat circuit 4 times.

Dumbbell French Press

Lie faceup on a bench with knees bent and feet flat. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, straighten arms directly over chest, with palms facing in (A). Bend elbows, and slowly lower dumbbells toward shoulders (B). Pause, and then press weights back up to start. Do 4 sets of 15 reps.

Cable Rope Triceps Extension + Cable Curl

Hold a cable rope with your back to machine, a hinge in hips, elbows bent, and hands behind head (A). Extend arms out (B). Return to start; do 15 reps. Follow with curls. Facing machine, with hands at thighs, grip bar (A). Curl up (B). Lower down; do 15 reps. Repeat cycle 4 times.

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