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3 Challenging Ab Exercises That Will Build The Core

Posted Jan 23 2009 3:52pm

In my last post, I talked about important facts you should know about abdominal training.  And in that post, I mentioned why sit ups are not the best exercise for your abs.  In this post, I want to share with you some excellent, albeit somewhat difficult, alternatives to sit ups.

Most people tend to believe that our abdominals are two separate muscles … the upper abs and the lower abs.  The truth is, our abs are one long muscle.  And while some exercises emphasize working a certain portion of the abs (for example, the crunch emphasizes the upper portion), any ab exercise, when done properly, will work the entire muscle.  Below are three videos demonstrating challenging exercises that will work the entire abdominal muscle as well as the core.  Remember to allow 48 hours between workouts to give your muscles a chance to rest and repair.

Let’s get started!

The Plank: The plank is superior to crunches as it is a basic core stabilization exercise.  Besides the abs, it works the back, glutes, and shoulder stabilizer muscles.  Go for a 30-second hold.  If you want to take it up it a notch, lift up a leg during the hold.

Reverse Plank With Leg Lifts: A very challenging exercise and an all-around excellent core stabilizer, this exercise is also known as the Pilates leg pull back.  It works your abs, arms, core, hip flexors, and legs.  If you find this move too difficult, do it without the leg lifts and go for a 30-second hold.

The Pilates Teaser One: The Teaser One is a very challenging exercise that strengthens the inner thighs as well as the abdominals.  It is an exercise for the more advanced and it is a wonderful core stabilizer.  It is a great exercise for sculpting the midsection.

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