Ab Exercises That You Are Not Doing Right Part 2

By: Sean St. Onge

Here are a couple more ab drills for you to try out! Allow me first to say I did NOT invent them so don’t shoot the messenger here. Just follow my advice, they will change your fitness lives forever; you will become stronger, they will provide you with more bang for your buck, and you will be making the all too cool “Dad Bod” look more like Ryan Reynolds’ washboard abs.

On a side note: If you feel you are able to hold a plank for north of 2 minutes, dare I say  you are doing it wrong and not creating REAL tension throughout your body. You are doing what I call the “hang-out plank” which basically means if you are holding the position while being able to text, pick your nose, or speak clearly for the duration of said hold, you are not working your abs. Give these a try-I’m willing to bet you will feel a difference!

  1. The Beast Plank Hold I borrowed this one from my friend and Chiropractor, Dr. Vincent Brunelle. For this drill all you need is four limbs and a moderately flat surface. Start in a prone position with your hands under your armpits and your knees directly under your hips (about 2- to 3- inches above your pants or beltline). Start by “packing” your shoulder blades together and squeezing your armpits as if someone were attempting to tickle you. From there, dig your toes into the ground and elevate your knees no more than one inch from the floor. To keep tension off your quadriceps and thighs “sit back” towards your heels and concentrate on bracing your abdomen. If you have a hard time with the “bracing” concept, attempt to tighten your midsection as if you were waiting to be punched in the stomach. Once your knees are elevated off the floor and you have braced your upper back and abdomen concentrate on breathing in through your nose. Now I’m not talking about “sniffing in air” I mean really fill your belly out and do it so silently that you yourself cannot even hear your own inhalation. Then, overly and forcibly exaggerate your exhale so that people nearby could hear you.  Try to hold yourself up for at least 30 seconds. When this drill becomes “easy” (which is funny because if you are doing it properly it should smoke even the most experienced planker).

 

  1. Bear CrawlThis workout has been around for a while. Just watch your form because it is easy to do this workout improperly when done fast. The setup is essentially the same as The Beast, but this time you are mobile. Start off in a prone position; brace the abdomen and set your shoulder blades and latissimus muscles. In a similar fashion to walking, move opposing limbs at the same time in relation to the ground. For example, move your left hand and arm as you move your right toe and knee. The caveat to this is contracting your abdomen hard and exhaling out all the air in your lungs while maintaining a FLAT back. When I coach my clients through this drill I like for them to imagine they are  vessels carrying important, vital liquids in cylinders on a serving tray on their backs that cannot, and must not, be spilled at any cost. When that tip doesn’t work, I ask them to envision a freshly baked pizza  on their backs and if they the workout is done properly, no cheese or toppings will spill off the sides, making everyone happy.  Take very short steps with your limbs to not over-stride; aim for about 3- to 4- inches each time with your lead arm.  Go slow and again concentrate on breathing out on each step.

Give these a try!

Sean St.Onge is a Certified Personal Trainer whom has been coaching at 212 Health and Performance for the past 5 years. Sean has also served as a Behavioral Specialist and life coach for various organizations that lead him into fitness coaching. He continues to coach clients and athletes online as well. www.seanstonge.com

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