Most people think of crunches, sit ups, leg lifts, etc. when they think of training their abs.
Turns out, this is NOT the best way to train your abs. It’s with total-body, “functional” movements. This is better both for your long-term spine health, AND short term fitness results!!
This is how I train MY abs. It serves me well, and most importantly, it keeps my back feeling great, and my core strength high for all the kettlebell training and other lifting activities I do almost every day.
I posted an article and video on this topic a short time ago, and got a great response from it – so I have “part two” for you today – another sample ab workout, done in this style. Check out it out:
Crunches, leg lifts, all of your traditional ab exercises … those are bad for your back. More and more research is showing that there are much better ways to train your abs. So today I’m going to show you an example of total body core circuit that you can do that doesn’t involve crunches or leg lifts.
So we’ve got four different exercises. We’re going to start with a plank hold. We’re going to go elbows underneath the shoulders, looking between the hands, up to the toes and drive the heels back. Tighten the lower body, tighten the abs, lock in the upper body as well. We’ll do a thirty second hold from right there. That’s our first exercise!
The second one is a bird dog. You’re going to go hands underneath the shoulders, knees below the hips, make sure you are in a neutral spine position. Do a couple of these, round the back this way and arch the back that way to find your middle position. Maintain that neutral spine through the exercise. So right arm, left leg goes up – hold for a second at the top and then left arm, right leg goes up and hold for a second at the top. Ten of those each side.
So that’s a thirty second plank and ten opposite arm and leg raises each side.
Then we’re going to go with a thirty second side plank. Feet are stacked, elbows underneath the shoulder, feet stacked on top of each other. Arms up, hips up high. Leverage yourself with that bottom shoulder up and away from the ground so you can get those hips up as high as you can. Thirty seconds of those on each side.
Then we’re going to go with a knee to elbow mountain climber to finish off. Hands stacked underneath the shoulders, knees are going to come up and touch the same elbow. Ten on each side.
So there’s your total body ab functional circuit. Do anywhere from one to three rounds of that. It’s a great way to finish off a workout and get some extra core work, save your back and train your abs in the best way possible!!