TARGET TRAINING: Ab Attack
Get fab abs and strengthen your core. These three moves together target the abdominals as a whole. The first exercise works both the Internal Core and Transverse Abdominals. The second targets the Transverse Abdominals and the Rectus Abdominus, while the final exercise, hits the Transverse Abdominals, the Internal and External Obliques and the Rectus Abdominus. The combination of these three simple moves gives your entire mid-section a super-effective workout.
The Transverse Abdominal is the major muscle, within the functional core of the human body, while the Rectus Abdominus is an important postural muscle. By strengthening these muscles, you will tighten up your mid-section and flatten your tummy in the process. The External Oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen and the External Oblique functions to pull the chest downwards and compress the abdominal cavity. Again, working these two muscles builds up the strength in your core to support all of your other workouts. The Internal Oblique muscle is the intermediate muscle of the abdomen, lying just underneath the External Oblique and just above the Transverse Abdominal Muscle. By hitting both the Internal and External Obliques, you give your body a power packed workout in half the time.
You’ll need an exercise mat and a stability ball to do these moves, at home or in the gym.
Works internal abdominal muscles
Get on the ground with your hands slightly wider than shoulders and knees.
Tighten your abs so your body is straight from head to knees.
Lower your chest to the ground then press-up and repeat. Do 12 reps.
Trainer’s tip: “Keep your hips straight when raising to the top and try not to let them move about. The more still you keep, the more you’ll feel the move working.”
Works lower and upper abdominals
Lie flat with your back on the ground.
Raise the legs and arms simultaneously off the ground, while exhaling, then reach up to touch your toes so your shoulder blades are off the ground as you squeeze your upper and lower core.
Drop your arms and legs to the ground, while inhaling and trying not to arch the lower back. For advanced trainers don’t let arms or legs touch the ground and repeat steps one and two.
Trainer’s tip: “Make sure you don’t hold your breath on both the way up and the way down and if you feel lower back discomfort, STOP!”
Long lever crunch
Works upper abs and stability core
Lie face-up with your back centred on a stability ball, knees bent, feet hip-width apart.
Squeeze your bum so your hips are even with your torso.
Extend your arms alongside your head, thumbs entwined, palms up. Crunch up as hard as you can. Do 10-20 reps.
Trainer’s tip: “When you’re at the top of the movement, don’t roll the back over, keep a straight spine. This makes the movement tougher to do, therefore better for you, as well as keeping your back supported. It also gives your back a really great stretch.”
Trainer's Strategy “These exercises are good because they work more than just the cosmetic abdominals. They help with core strength and stability as well. It’s important to remember to keep your form and posture on all three exercises to make sure that you hit all of the target muscles,” explains Shane.