April 11

Core Crusher: Get a Shredded Six-Pack

20140411-091841.jpgSummer is around the corner (or already here for us Floridians!) and you know what that means: time for those abs to come out of hibernation! This week, a few friends asked me to post an ab workout and tips for a tight tummy. Keep in mind, I’m not a certified trainer but I’m happy to share what has worked for me:

Let’s start with the ab workouts I USED to do. I once thought that getting a shredded six-pack meant repping out dozens of situps, crunches and other traditional, old-school ab exercises. While I’m not saying those won’t get you the results you want, I will say they didn’t do much for me at all. Why? I probably focused more on doing 50 reps as fast as I could to just get it over with instead of taking the time to do slow and controlled contractions. Also, I thought the visible six-pack muscles were the only ones to care about and didn’t think twice about working my whole core (obliques, lower back, lats).

So what do I do now?

  • Slow, controlled moves, pausing at the peak of each contraction to increase time under tension
  • Stabilization Training: Keep spine straight and core engaged (i.e. planks)
  • Dynamic Stabilization Training: Stabilize spine while extremities move so the core muscles have to control the forces from the movements (i.e. Slow Slide Mountain Climbers in video below)
  • Integrated Stabilization Training: Off set your center of gravity to force core to work harder (i.e. Turkish Getups)

SAMPLE CORE CRUSHER CIRCUIT

I change my routine every time to keep my body guessing but here’s an example of what I did this morning:

Superset 1: Planks (Do 3x, no rest)

  • 90 seconds plank on forearms (for extra challenge, I elevate my legs on a bench). TIP: Tighten your tummy like you’re about to be punched in the gut, squeeze your glutes and lats!
  • 45 seconds side plank, legs elevated on bench (repeat on other side before moving on)

Superset 2: Dynamic Stabilization on Slide (or you can use towels on a hardwood floor) SEE VIDEO BELOW. Do 3x, no rest

  • 10 each arm: Slide Push Aways
  • 10 each leg: Slow Slide Mountain Climbers

[Click Photo To Play Video}

20140411-095040.jpg

Superset 3: Integration Stabilization (Do 3x, no rest)

  • 5 Turkish Getups each side (see how-to and photos from my previous post here)
  • 10 cable chops each side:  Grab the bare cable from a high pulley of a cable station, and get into a lunge position next to it. Pull the cable over your left shoulder, and draw it diagonally downward across your body. Do not let your torso move. Tip: The goal is always to allow zero movement at the spine or core. Control your extremities.
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