Best Ab Exercises
Just because those crunches won’t reduce your body fat, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strengthen your abdominal muscles. Regular ab exercises are an essential part of your strength and conditioning – necessary in order to get that fit physique you want. In order to train abs correctly, you must understand how they work. The main purpose of the abdominal muscles is to prevent over rotation or over extension of the upper body. The plank is used as a precursor to another exercise we do called "Stir The Pot". Your routine should be based on anti-rotation and anti-extension. Here are some ab exercises we do with our clients:
Plank: Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
Reverse Wood Chop: A reverse wood chop is performed by starting with feet shoulder distance apart. Holding a Swiss or medicine ball with both hands on the side of your right hip, squat down while keeping arms straight. If you are new to the move, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends keeping arms bent until you are strong enough. Push through your legs and stand straight while moving the ball across your body and up. With your legs straight, your arms should be straight towards the ceiling above your left shoulder.
Pallof Press ISO Hold:
Adjust the cable stack so that it will be level with your chest when you’re in the kneeling position.
Grasp the cable with both hands, hold it to your chest and then assume a kneeling position.
‘Brace’ your abs by tensing them as though you were preparing to receive a punch and squeeze your glutes tightly. Try to focus on making yourself as tall as possible. Now, with both hands, push the cable out directly in front of you. The cable will be trying to pull you toward the weight stack – don’t let it! Hold the cable out in front of you for two seconds and then slowly bring it back towards your chest. Repeat for the prescribed reps and then switch sides.
We have videos of each exercise, please contact us for more information on these great abdominal exercises or to schedule an appointment with a personal trainer