Sometimes the best exercises for you are the simplest exercises. We are all guilty while trying to mix up our exercise routine of getting a bit fancier with our exercises. We try and throw in a little balancing act here, a crazy twist there, or sometimes something that just doesn’t even make sense but it still looks cool… yeah, you know what we are talking about. Nothing to be ashamed about, we commend anyone trying to mix up their abdominal exercise routine since that is the key to keeping the body guessing. However, sometimes the simplest most basic exercises are really the ones you should be focusing on.
A big reason why simple exercises get overshadowed by more complex exercises is that they seem to easy. Usually, the reason for an exercise seeming too easy is because you aren’t executing them effectively. Maybe your form is slightly off or maybe you aren’t squeezing your muscle in the right spot, maybe you are moving through the exercise too quickly. There can be many things that aren’t making the exercise as effective as it could be. So instead of skipping over the simple ones this time try focusing on these core exercises (we are specifically focusing on the obliques) because they really do get the core burning and it is possible to achieve the goals you are looking for with these exercises too, without needing to get fancy.
Bicycles are a pretty standard move, but if you want to build abdominal strength, they can be your best friend.
- Begin by lying flat on the ground with both hands behind your head with your shoulder blades slightly off the ground.
- You want to make sure you don’t pull on your head with your hands but rather lift your shoulders higher off of the ground by squeezing your abdominals and pulling your abdominals into your spine as your back pressing firmly into the ground.
- Rotate your opposite elbow to your opposite knee and repeat on the other side.
- This is one of those exercises where the slower you go the more effective the exercise. Slow your pace to about 1/4 of the speed and see how quick your abdominals begin to burn.
Aka Toe Touches. This exercise gives you maximum power for a core workout.
- Begin laying on your back with your legs straight in the air, put your hands together straight up over your chest and then reach them overhead.
- Without using any momentum use your abdominals to lift your head, neck, and shoulders off of the ground and reach up for your toes.
- After you have reached as high as you can, hold for a moment and then slowly lower your spine back down the ground, then your neck, then your head and then your hands.
- If you want to make this more challenging you can try reaching at a diagonal or even lower your legs when you lower your upper body as well.
Plank with a Rotation
Plank rotations bring not only the burn to your abdominals but can bring the burn to your shoulders and arms.
- Begin in a high plank position (meaning you are on your hands and not your elbows).
- Lift one of your hands off of the ground like you are going to do a one-armed push-up. Your body weight hasn’t quite shifted yet but it will.
- As you reach that hand that is lifted straight to the sky this is when you shift your body weight over to the one side until your chest has opened up and your shoulders are stacked on top of one another.
- Now with that hand that is reaching up into the sky, bring it back down towards the ground but instead of putting it on the ground you are going to tuck it under the opposite armpit and reach as far as you can while rotating in the hips. Try to not allow the feet to split apart from being stacked on top of one another.
- Once you have reached through as far as you can, then bring that hand back up to reach the sky as high as you can before putting it back to the ground to be back in your plank position.
- Hold plank for a moment and then perform the same rotation on the other side.
When done with proper form and precision these abdominal exercises can strengthen and shred out your obliques in no time. Of course, following a proper diet is key in your fitness goals as well.
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- The Power of the Plank
- How to Perfect the Plank!