Core and Ab Workouts

Ab training is really a thing that there’s a lot of misconceptions with. Most of the time what people are doing in the gym is they’re training the hip flexors. This isn’t want you want to do. That is why a lot of times you don’t feel sore in the abs. You don’t feel like you really worked the abs that well. It’s really important to be able to isolate the abs. We’re going to do that in this next exercise.

Working the abs really helps in creating a lot of stability for most exercises we perform. If it weren’t for the muscles of the abdominal area you wouldn’t be able to perform those exercises we love to perform so much like the dead lift, the squat, up-right rows, even the bench press. The abdominals come into play and they stabilize the body.

There is really the wrong motivation for performing side bends. If you think that by performing a side bend, you are going to eliminate your love handles, you will actually create more of a problem for yourself. We are going to perform it in a way in which we can add a lot stability, especially rotational stability to the upper body and performing in a way in which we are not going to develop a wider waist which I will explain here.

One of the most common ab exercises you will see people perform in the gym is a crunch or somewhat of a sit-up, on one of these ab balls or body balls. The problem with this is it is so easy to cheat on this,and people will yank themselves up and down, up and down, and really never engage the abdominal wall.

So what we are going to do here is called a reverse crunch, but the fact that we are doing it on the ball, really makes it a lot more difficult than anything you can do on a slant board or an ab slant board, this is going to require true core stabilization as well as concentric - eccentric movement of the abdominal muscle. This will all makes sense here in a second.

I do not think there is an exercise in the gym that is more of a pet peeve for me than working the obliques. Here is the reason why, when you are working your obliques they tend to enlarge. So you have to be careful unless you want a wider waste.

In this exercise we are going to get creative with this ab bench, and what we are going to do is a leg raise, or a modification of the leg raise. We are going to change things up a little bit and then combine two different exercises. So we kind of do a two-part exercise where we are bringing in and exhausting the muscle from a full range of motion.

A lot of people think that the only way to get abs is doing crunches and doing exercises that are specific for the abs, and that is not the case. There are people who have never done a crunch, a sit-up, a leg raise in their life, and have amazing development in the mid section,

The next exercise is again, incorporating the core by creating instability during an exercise. So we are going to again use the bench. He is going to kneel on the bench and perform some dumbbell military presses, one at a time. So the abdominal wall not only has to engage so that he does not fall forward, he also has to engage so he does not fall off to the side. Great exercise to do. You are not going to engage your abdominal wall it is going to also help in stabilizing you for other exercises.

This exercise, again, incorporating the core muscles by causing instability, we are going to do a lateral raise while kneeling on the bench. There is not a lot to say about the exercise, just that by kneeling on the bench, this exercise really calls in the core so he does not fall over.

We have covered this exercise before, but now again, we are adding instability to it, so that the core has to come in and engage and keep him upright, keep him from falling over. This is called an upright row, and then punching forward, which really forces the shoulder muscles to stabilize to somewhat of an awkward movement and then bringing it down. The fact that the dumbbell is coming out in front of him is forcing into engage his glutes, his hamstrings, but especially his core, his abdominal wall, so that there is some stabilization there.

This exercise is a very dynamic movement where we are going to be incorporating a row, with the dumbbell, but in doing that we are going to create instability. Again, where the core is going to have to engage.

This exercise combination is really, I think, innovative, and I think this is a way people are going to be training in the future. Bringing in some creative exercises, pre-exhausting a muscle group and then bringing in the weights so that you are compensating for maybe not using as heavy of a weight.

I am a really big fan of putting the body in a position where we have to compensate for instability with an isometric contraction, and then somehow bringing in a concentric - eccentric contraction to the mix. This exercise is the epitome of that for abs.