Most gym goers are mad keen on training their abs.
They perform countless crunches and try to hold planks for as long as possible thinking it will help them lose the fat from their stomach area,
Unfortunately that isn't the case,
You need to work on your diet to achieve that.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't train them.
Your abdominal muscles are the base from which all your movements start and it is essential they are strong and function well.
Your core consists of 2 different layers of muscle.
This is how they look in your body.
Each muscle group is predominantly responsible for different a function.
Rectus Abdominis - Flexes your spinal column
External Oblique - Flexes and rotates the body
Transversus Abdominis - Stabilises the spinal column and protects your internal organs
Having strong core musculature is essential to our daily lives. Not only will you look great with your T-shirt off but strong abs will help with
Injury prevention - Strong abdominal muscles will protect you from injury, both spinal and in your limbs or joints.
Improved performance - Having a strong and stable core allows your limbs to exert more force in your athletic activities, meaning you can run faster or lift more weight.
Posture - Weak core muscles can lead to poor posture.
Training Your Core
When it comes to exercise, the abdominal muscles are mostly used to stabilise your spine but they are vital to performing the big exercises like squats and deadlifts safely and efficiently.
To get the most out of your core you need to train the different muscle groups in different ways
Anti-extension - exercises that make resist arching your spine
Anti-rotation - exercises that make you resist rotating your spine
Anti-lateral flexion - exercises that make you resist bending your spine sideways
Like all exercises, it is better to increase the difficulty of the movement, rather than perform endless reps of something that is too easy.
If you can comfortably hold front and side planks with good form for over 60 seconds then it's time to move on to something a little more advanced.
Here are 3 exercises that will put your core strength to the test.
Hollow Body Landmine
Try to keep your body and feet steady as you move the bar from side to side.
These are really hard so you could start by keeping your feet on the floor and your arms closer to your body, before progressing on to the version in the video.
Hollow Body Press
This is very similar to the previous version. But no less difficult.
Again keep the legs and body as steady as possible, whilst leaning back. The aim here is to avoid any twisting of your upper body.
I have no idea what these are called but the idea is to hook your feet under something stable and hang your butt off the bench. You will really have to squeeze your abs to avoid arching backwards. You could start by trying this exercise without the weight and pressing movement.
Once you can hold it for 60 seconds then you can increase the difficulty.
Try adding them into your next ab training routine and let me know what you think.