5 best ab exercisesBy Linda Ericson // Personal Trainer and Operations Manager at RCSN Fitness January 2018
The principles of muscle growth are the same even when it comes to this area of your body. A good advice is therefore to begin stacking some weights and enjoying the benefits of a really tortured stomach. You will experience a dramatic difference, especially if you also work in different angles and levels, and it will for sure put your obliques to test.
Below is five of the most efficient exercises to develop rock hard abs in no specific order. These should all be performed with a weight you can lift 10-15 times for best results.
1. Rotary plank
Start the exercise in a plank position standing on your toes, with your arms straight, and with a dumbbell in each hand. Spare your joints by maintaining stability in your wrists throughout the exercise. Your feet should be kept apart slightly wider than your hips. Lift your left hand up against the ceiling while you in a controlled motion lets the upper body follow and slightly rotate. Your pelvis will also twist so it is important that you keep it level by preventing it from raising or dropping. Allow the left hand to return to the floor and perform the same movement with your right hand immediately after. One sweep per arm is counted as a complete rep.
2. Woodchopper in Cable Cross
Stand close to the machine with your feet more than hip-width apart. Raise your arms and grab the handle with both hands somewhere above shoulder height. With your arms fully extended, pull the handle over your body to the opposite side. Allow the hip and upper body to rotate. Slowly return to the starting position while keeping your arms straight and strong.
3. Classic plank
Take position by placing your forearms on the floor with the elbows under your shoulders, arms shoulder width apart and your feet tight together. In order to make the exercise more difficult, you may straighten your arms and stand directly on your hands, with only your palms touching the floor. You can also challenge yourself by either placing some extra weight on your back or lifting a leg or an arm. Hold for as long as you can!
4. Crossover Punch
Lie on your back in a crunch position with your knees bent and your feet flat against the floor. Grab a couple of lightweight dumbbells and hold them against your chest with your elbows resting on the side of your body. With your hands still held against your chest, raise the upper body until you have taken a sitting position. Turn your upper body to the left while moving your right hand to the outside of your left knee, as a kind of punch. Move your right hand back to the chest as you let your upper body return to the center and roll down to the ground. Perform all of these actions in one single movement. One punch per side is counted as a complete rep.
5. Dumbbell side bend
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Let the left hand hang relaxed at the side of your body or place it behind your head. If you choose to put your hand behind your head, make sure you do not pull your neck while doing the exercise as this may cause injury. Bend your upper body slowly to the right and lower the dumbbell along the leg until your left side is properly stretched. You should keep the downward phase about two seconds long, and don’t forget about your posture! Contract your abdominals as you return to starting position. Repeat on both sides.
Treat your abdominal as any other muscle group. Train hard, vary your workout program and make sure they get enough rest!
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