Ever wonder how people gain abs? Or feel that sometimes you are doing endless crunches with zero results? A lot of people think by completing 500 crunches they will have a ‘6 pack’ in no time. Here we will discuss why this is wrong and how to correct it.
The core muscles consist of pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae (especially the longissimus thoracis), and the diaphragm. When reading these incomprehensible words, please do not be alarmed. We have some excellent and effective exercises to help work on ALL the above.
Firstly, you should start by getting to know your body and concentrate on engaging your core muscles, which will in turn improve your core strength. Not only will this improve your overall stability but will result in developing the definition of your abdominal muscles. A lot of people carry out core exercises and feel it in their necks, lower back, hips etc., This is because they are yet to engage their core muscles. This takes technique, posture and concentration to develop.
The following information will provide some useful tips to get those abs ready for the much-anticipated Irish summer……and hopefully a sun holiday thrown in along the way.
The plank. This is one of the most dreaded and much-avoided exercises gym goers face. But with the correct technique and positioning, it can be one of the most effective core exercises providing exceptional results. To complete this exercise, you just need floor space/mat (something to protect your elbows). Begin by lying face down on a mat with your legs straight and arms tucked in by your sides with elbows bent. Raise your body up onto your toes and forearms and hold. If you are a beginner, you can begin to hold this exercise for 10-15 seconds and you can work up to 1 minute before progressions can be made. During this exercise keep you back flat and head slightly raised.
Once you have begun with the plank, you then can move onto other core exercises. You will notice straight away the burning sensation in your core muscles after carrying out this exercise. It is so important to always begin with an exercise that helps you to engage these muscles.
You can carry out the below 5 exercises and you will begin to see results.
Lying Leg Raises – Lie on your back with your legs straight and hands by your side, raise your legs straight up, slightly lifting your lower back off the floor, slowly lower your legs to tap your heels on the floor and repeat, keeping your upper body stable and your legs straight throughout the movement. Beginners can start with 10 reps and work up to 30 reps.
Toe Touches – while staying in the lying down position, lie back with your arms and legs straight up in the air. Reach with your fingers and touch your toes lifting your shoulders off the floor. Use your abdominal muscles to pull your body up, then lower back down slowly to the floor and repeat. Do not throw your body up. Beginners can start with 10 reps and work up to 30 reps.
Now to move onto a full body exercises that are really geared towards core strength.
Push up burpees
- Squat down placing your hands on the floor and jump your feet back to the top of a push up position.
- Perform a push up, lowering your chest down to the floor and pushing back up to a straight position.
- Jump your feet in, bringing you knees to your chest while keeping your hands on the floor.
- Come to an upright position and jump into the air, raising your arms overhead.
- Return to the mid position and then jump your feet back out to a straight position and repeat. Beginners can start on 5 of these exercises and can work up to 20.
Mountain climbers cross
- Support your body on your hands and toes in the top of a push up position
- Quickly bring one knee in towards your chest and across your body to the opposite elbow, keeping the rest of your body in the push up position.
- Straighten this leg back out and repeat with the other leg to the other side. Beginners begin with 20 seconds and work up to 1 minute.
- Start in the sit up position with your feet up off the floor, knees bent, holding a dumbbell/medicine ball at chest level in both hands with your arms extended out in front.
- Twist your torso to one side, lowering the weight to the floor.
- Twist your torso back to the other side keeping your feet up and arms straight throughout.
If you try these 6 exercises 2-3 times a week you will see a huge improvement to your core strength resulting in those abs you have always wanted.
At Bodyscene, we take into account each clients fitness levels and circumstances. Each core workout we will we based around each clients goals and abilities.
Looking for a personal trainer online in Dublin call Bodyscene