Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It Takes More Than a Crunch

One exercise we all see people doing at the gym constantly is the crunch. There are many variations of the crunch on the floor, stability ball, bosu...they all are working primarily the rectus abdominis and the obliques. But what about the muscles surrounding your ribs and back? The obliques are in this category as well as the spinal erector muscles. These muscles are equally as important to work because of the stability they provide all working together for your core.

Here are 5 core moves to add to your workout that you might be missing:

1) Side Planks with a Twist: Start on your elbow in a normal side plank position, you can use a weight in one hand, but you might want to start without a weight just to make sure you're comfortable with the range of motion. Rotate down with the arm under the body and then back up to your starting position. Keep hips up so the body stays in alignment. Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.
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2) V-Hold Figure 8 with a Medicine Ball: Start on your tailbone with legs bent (you can straighten them for an advanced move), chest stays lifted, rotate to each side forming a figure 8. Do 8-12 figure 8s total.
vhold vhold2

3) Weighted Side Bends: Start with your feet shoulder width apart, one weight with arm extended above you and one arm straight down to your side. Slowly side bend down a few inches and then come back up to your starting position. Use your obliques on the opposite side to help you pull back up. Do 3 sets of 8-15 repetitions on each side. Tip: Start without a weight to make sure the range of motion is comfortable.
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4) Planks with a Reach: Start in a normal plank position onyour elbows. Reach and extend your arm forward alternating sides. Do 20-30 reps total.

5) Lower Abdominal Tilt on the Foam Roller
: What's terrificabout using the foam roller is that it keeps your spine in alignment. Lay flat on the foam roller with legs up, tilt your hips slightly toward you flattening the lower back onto the roller. Remember to keep a small range of motion. Do 10-20 reps.
lowerfoam lowerfoam2

1 comment:

  1. The addition of one of the better ab workout machines goes from being a nice thought to a smart idea. Equipment ranges from pretty high-tech to even low-tech, simple devices, but the best abdominal exercise machines all pack a punch.