Summer is fast approaching, and apart from the tan and sun glasses, having an impressive set of abs should be the number one item on your beach body check list. No matter what your reason for wanting to develop your abdominal musculature is, this workout is a sure fire way to get you there.
Listed below is an intense core workout designed to develop the abdominal muscles, improve weaknesses and increase your sporting performance.
Exercise 1: Hanging windshield wipers
This is somewhat of an advanced exercise, so it may be a good idea to start your workout with these if you are an experienced trainee.
How to do them:
• Grab a pull-up bar around shoulder-width apart.
• Raise your legs straight up towards the ceiling so that your back is parallel to the floor and your legs perpendicular.
• In this position, and keeping your legs together, rotate them to one side before using your core to hold them in place at the end of the movement.
• From here, rotate them back in the opposite direction to the other side before holding them in that position.
• This whole motion will look like the windshield wipers of a car, hence the name.
• Repeat this movement for as many repetitions as you can do without compromising form. Note: one repetition consists of a rotation to both sides.
Exercise 2: Ab Machine
If your gym has this piece of equipment, then we highly recommend using it. Although it is often preferable to adopt more natural forms of movement like body-weight exercises and free weights, well designed abdominal machines are great tools to really isolate the rectus abdominis, otherwise known as “the six pack”.
The type of abdominal machine can vary a lot from gym to gym, but the most common ones include the use of handles that go over your shoulders.
How to use it:
• Please note that the machines in your gym may function differently to the description below. Typically, machines have instructions stuck on to them outlining how to use them correctly. If not, ask a staff member or better yet, a member of your gym’s fitness team on the best way to use their machines.
• Apply a weight that you are comfortable lifting for 10-15 repetitions.
• Sitting comfortably in the seat of the ab machine, grab the handles and pull them towards your body so that the shoulder pads are resting comfortably against your anterior deltoid muscles.
• Put your feet underneath the foam padding at the front of the machine.
• When you are ready, contract your abs so that you shorten the distance between your sternum and pelvis (chest and knees come closer together).
• Return to the start position slowly before contracting again for the next repetition.
Once you have completed 15 repetitions, return to exercise 1 and go again. Superset each exercise three times before taking a rest.
Finish up your Ablivion workout with 2 sets of lying leg raises:
Exercise 3: Lying Leg Raises
• Lying with your back flat on the floor and your legs together, raise your legs straight up until your legs are perpendicular with the floor.
• Slowly (3 seconds) descend your legs until your heels are about 6 inches from the floor.
• From here raise your legs again to complete another repetition.
• Repeat this exercise until you have completed 12-15 slow and controlled repetitions.
• Rest for 1 minute and then repeat again for your second set.
As you start to become accustomed to this routine you may wish to increase the intensity. You can either increase the number of repetitions performed in each exercise, increase the time the muscle is held under tension, or, increase the weight used as resistance on the ab machine.