A strong core not only looks good but also helps you get more out of your workouts. You're only as strong as your weakest link. So when your core is weak, you're weak.
Getting tight, strong abs doesn't need hundreds of sit-ups and five minute planks. I'm all about efficiency and I don't want to spend half a workout just working my abs.
Here's two exercises to get you in-and-out of your ab workout in no time yet still leaving you with a burn.
The reverse crunch is an awesome exercise for your obliques and lower abs. Looks easy on the surface, but do this with good form and you'll get a big bang for your buck. This will also help you get a lot better at your hanging leg raises, which I see a lot of people doing poorly. The most common mistake is a big arch in the lower back during the movement. Also, if you naturally have a very noticeable arch in your lower back or belly protruding when you stand, get working on owning this exercise.
1. Place an anchor behind your head and grab it with both hands. (Kettlebell or medicine ball works well).
2. Bend your knees with your feet close to your butt.
3. Brace your abs as if you're about to get punched or tickled, and push your lower back into the ground.
4. Pull your knees up towards your elbows.
5. Return to starting position but making sure to push your lower back into the ground.
Start out with two sets with a few quality reps: 10-12 reps should be more than enough. You can make this harder by making your anchor lighter.
Ok so you can hold a plank for five minutes? I challenge you to try the RKC plank and see how you do. If you this properly, you should really feel your abs working in the first 10-20 seconds. You need to give this an all out effort rather than just hanging out as usually done in a traditional plank. From there you can work your way up to a minute or longer.
You're going to feel this throughout your entire midsection. More importantly you're working the deep muscles of the core that most of us neglect. These are super important muscles for maintaining a healthy spine and lower back.
Want to make it harder? Move your elbows further forward or keep adding a few seconds every week.
1. Get into a plank with your elbows under the your armpits.
2. Make a fist with both hands and pull your shoulder blades towards your butt.
3. Flex your butt as hard as you can. This will tilt your hips back (look at the picture below) and make this much more effective.
4. Now hold on for dear life. Pull your elbows towards your toes, and your toes towards your elbows. Flex every single muscle you can think of. Start with two sets of 10 seconds and work your way up adding more sets or a few seconds each week.
This article was originally posted on BodyRock.Tv
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