Late night infomercials promoting strange gadgets and social media 'fitness experts' all promising you a 6 pack that you have always wanted but sadly, in reality this just doesn’t happen.
Coupled with outdated training methods and the fact that the only way to really see your abs is through your nutrition choices, these exercise don’t allow the core to do what they it is designed to do and that is to keep the back safe. The truth is we need the good old plank to protect us from extending or bending backwards safely, side planks to help us with lateral flexion and deadlift or hinge exercises to strengthen us in a flexion (bending forwards) pattern.
Finally, the one that is not always performed in a training program is an anti-rotational move that allows us to twist safely. So, you can see that our body is designed to move in a multi-directional way therefore we need to train abs the same way.
Below are 3 of our favourites…
Exercise One - Plank slider saw with knee drive
We love this very challenging exercise on the SKLZ sliders. You MUST maintain a straight (neutral) spine throughout the movement. The further away you slide from the bench the more challenging the movement becomes. Your core, shoulders and hip flexors will be working hard.
Exercise Two - Side plank star
This is a great corrective exercise for a squat and deadlift pattern. Your body has to stabilise while you pattern a hip hinge. Your glutes, core and shoulder will be the areas that are challenged. Be sure to keep your spine straight, push your hips forward while pushing the ground away with your bottom knee.
Exercise Three - Anti-rotational dead bug
’Anti-rotational’ exercises are critical to anyone who wants to avoid a lower back injury and especially sports that require lots of rotation and flexion like tennis, hockey, golf etc. Traditionally Russian twists a favourite however the smarter way is to build up the rotational slings of the body by resisting rational forces and allow the core to stabilise.
Kirsty is the Co-Founder of StudioForty6 and a IoM Health Coach.