If you are dreaming about that beach holiday currently whilst being stuck inside, why not start working on that beach ready body, and there is no better place to start than the Reps & Recovery epsiode ‘Get better & stronger abs’
This episode talks through Bens tops 3 exercises to work on and also allows Liv the chance to speak about the benefits of working your abs to help reduce lower back pain. Give it a watch and see what you think.
BEN’S TOP 3 EXERCISES
The Leg Raise: This exercise is performed either hanging or laying down, now to get the best benefits from this exercise I would recommend to do it hanging. Focus on holding the body nice and static, whilst you raise your straight legs up to hip height and then lower down whilst keeping control of the movement. It’s important to focus on controling this exercise so you can focus on engaging your abs and therefore not swinging back and forward. Make sure as you raise your legs up that you curve your spine, taking the stress out of your lower back and instead focusing on yuor abs pulling and not your lower back. Always make sure you breath out and you work (raising the legs up) and breath in as you relax (lowering the legs down).
Kneeling Cable Crunch: This is a great exercise to focus on putting a large amount of pressure onto the abs by using weights unlike the typical body weight exercises. To perform this exercise correctly you need to focus on what area of the body stay static and which areas move, otherwiese if you get it wrong, you wont get the best out of this great movement. So first of all, kneel down holding onto the cable attachment by your head. Sit back onto your heels, and keeping a round back, pull down through the attachments but keeping them by your head. Make sure you focus on just holding the attachements with your hands and not pulling them through your arms, after all this is a ABDOMINAL exercise not a upper body exercise. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and you pull down, keeping your back rounded and therefore taking any pressure off your lower back. Slowly resist back to the starting position and repeat.
Bicycle Crunches: This exercise doesn’t just hit the main Rectus Abdominal muscles but also the Obliques. The exercise must be performed correctly to get the most out of it, if done too fast or with not control you will be able to perform a large number of reps but without really feeling anything. Starting with your hands by your head, raise your feet off the floor, keeping one leg straight and the other bent. Slow twist the upper body, pulling the bent knee towards your upper body, reducing the space between elbow and knee, then repeat on the other side, by straightening the leg and twisting the upper body the other direction. Perform this exercise slowly and smoothly.
THE BENEFITS OF STRONG ABS
Having strong abdominal muscles can reduce lower back pain. By performing a exercise like the ‘Hollow Hold’ you allow the pressure to be applied to the abdominal muscles in a static form without having to perform a crunch movement which can sometimes have a negative effect when you already have a lower back issue. The Hollow Hold can be developed in three ways depending on your abdominal strength/ lower back weakness, so build up through the stages slowly and focus on engaging the abdominals correctly taking your time to keep the form perfect.
If you want more details on the exercises above, why not pop over to the Reps & Recovery YouTube channel and catch Liv & myself talking and showing you through them.