Best tips for Advanced ABs Workout

7 Mar

Overview

Conventional crunches and sit-ups are common ab exercises performed from a face-up position on the floor. If you do these exercises with proper form, they will make your abs scream with pain. This is the case with any ab exercise. If you are looking for a challenge, choose more advanced exercises that can give you this sensation in a short time frame.

Like every other muscle in your body, your abdominal muscles deserve a day of rest between each intense workout. As you build strength and endurance through regular workouts, your abs are able to handle increasingly more difficult exercises. In fact, you should challenge them with harder exercises if you want them to continue getting stronger.

Plank Variations

Plank poses are yoga exercises that work your abs without any range of motion.. You balance face-down on your forearms and the balls of your feet. Squeezing your abs to keep your body flat from head to heels in this position is harder than it looks. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to hold planks longer. Once you can consistently hold a plank for a minute or more, try more difficult variations. For one of the most extreme plank variations, lift your left arm and right leg slightly off the floor. Squeeze your abs to keep your body flat and level. Hold this position for as long as possible, then repeat on the other side.

Get Unstable

Adding instability to your ab workout dramatically increases the difficulty. A 2001 study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise showed that doing crunches on a stability ball is one of the all-around most effective ab exercises. You can also perform planks on stability balls, or do core exercises like bridges and planks with your feet hanging from webbing slings or gymnastics-style rings. Almost any exercise done on gymnastics rings, including face-down pullovers and push-ups, becomes an immediate hard-core ab workout because of the instability involved.

Weight Lifting Techniques

You can apply the same techniques you use to make strength training more difficult to your ab exercises, as well. Try holding a medicine ball, dumbbell or weight plate close to your body for extra resistance during crunches. Or vary your speed, alternating between sets of fast reps  (although not so fast that you lose control ) and super-slow repetitions. Plyometric abdominal exercises, like medicine ball throws, also place extreme stress on your abs.

Hanging Windshield Wipers

Rock climbers and other extreme athletes in search of a drastic ab workout head straight to the bar — the pull-up bar, that is. Gymnastics-inspired moves like curl-ups and windshield wipers provide an intense ab workout. To do windshield wipers, hang below the pull-up bar, arms straight at the elbow and flexed at the shoulder so your torso is parallel to the floor. Bend your hips so your legs point straight up. Squeeze your abs tight to support your torso, keeping your back flat, as you let both legs rotate down to your right. Then rotate your legs to the left. Continue alternating back and forth as if your legs were windshield wipers.

Be mindful of your stomach contractions with this exercise. As soon as you get into the staring position, you will have to tighten your abs and keep them tight throughout. If you do not do this, you run the risk of injuring your lower back.

Pendulums

Pendulums are exercises that target your obliques. They are also known as windshield wipers. To do them, lie flat on your back with your arms out to your sides so your upper body forms a T-shape. After raising your legs up to a point where they are just slightly less than perpendicular to your upper body, lower them down to your right side. Slowly lift them up and then down to your left side. Continue to move them back and forth in a slow and controlled motion. When you are lowering your legs, stop them as soon as your back starts to lift off the ground.

Pike

The pike is performed with the help of a stability ball and done in a face-down position. To begin, place your hands on the floor and tops of your feet on the ball. Your body should be in a push-up position at this point with your arms, back and legs straight and abs already contracted. Keeping your legs and arms straight, roll the ball inward toward your head as you raise your hips in the air. Do this in a steady motion and stop when your body forms an inverted angle. The tips of your toes should be on the top of the ball at this point. Hold for a second, slowly roll the ball back out and repeat. If this doesn’t make your abs scream, perform the exercise one leg at a time.

Dragon Flag

Dragon flags require a sturdy weight bench. To begin, lie face-up with your hands wrapped underneath the sides of the bench behind your head. Keeping your head and neck down on the bench, raise your legs and body in the air so that your toes point toward the ceiling. Slowly lower your body down and stop when you are at an angle to the bench. You will have to forcefully contract your abs at this point to maintain your position. Rise back up and repeat.

Wheel Roll out

An ab wheel is a small fitness tool that has a rubber wheel and handle going through the center. A rollout exercise requires balance and extreme core strength. To begin, hold the handle with one hand on each side of the wheel and stand with your feet together. Lower the wheel to the floor and maintain straight arms, legs and a straight back as you roll the wheel forward on the floor. Once your body is about parallel to the floor and your arms are fully extended, roll yourself back up and repeat..

Side Bends

Side bends are done with a dumbbell and they also work your obliques. To do these, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. After placing your left hand on your hip or the side of your head, bend laterally to your right as you lower the dumbbell toward the floor. Once you have gone as far as possible, bend back up to a straight position and repeat. After doing a set of reps to your right, switch sides.

Soccer Throws

Soccer throws are performed with a medicine ball; you need an assistant to execute them. To do the exercise, stand about 8 feet away from your assistant while holding the ball above and slightly behind your head. After taking a step forward with your right foot, forcefully throw the ball in a downward motion. Once your assistant throws the ball back, step forward with your left foot and throw it again. Continue throwing the ball, alternating the leading foot.

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