After shredded abs, but bored of endless crunches?
There are loads of other exercises that are far more effective! To get a greater insight into this topic, we visited Competition Academy, one of Gympass’ partner gyms, and chatted to a PT there Fellipe Franco. Check out some of the tips he shared with us!
The core region has some of the most important muscles in our body. Our core consists of 29 pairs of muscles that are mainly formed by the abdomen, obliques, lumbar and glutes.
Fellipe recommends isometrics, rotations, balance and power exercises to include in your workouts. Here are some of them:
Keep the torso parallel to the ground with the support of your feet and elbows. A good way to start this exercise is to do a set of 3 x 30 seconds.
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Side plank: This exercise is a little more difficult as it requires more balance. Turn to your side and lift your body up with only the support of one of your arms and feet. Make sure you tighten your stomach so you can maintain a strong balance. You can start with a set of 3x 15 on each side, and move up to 3 x 30 as it becomes easier.
Dish: In this exercise the lumbar does most of the work, but it also involves a lot of your glutes. Lie face down and raise your chest and legs up toward the ceiling. Felipe recommends completing sets of 3×30 seconds.
Russian Twist: Sit with your legs bent and with your arms extended at chest level, tilt your torso a little bit backwards without losing the alignment of the spine and turn left and right alternately. Complete 4 sets of 20 repetitions on each side. If it is too easy, try to get your feet off the ground while balancing your legs in the air. If you want to challenge yourself even more, grab a 5-10kg kettlebell or plate.
Alternating Toe Touch: Lay down on your back with your arms straight above your head. Lift your right arm and left leg at the same time, like you are trying to touch your toes. Repeat this movement using your left leg and right arm. Felipe recommends a set of 4x 20 seconds so you can really feel the side of your abs burn.
Airplane: Stand in an upright posture, keep both arms open at your shoulder line, and with just one foot on the floor lean your torso forward by raising your free leg backwards. Make sure to keep your leg at the same height as your torso or slightly lower. This exercise can be done without any movement or by moving back and forth to your upright position. Start by doing 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions.
Power exercises are great to shock your body in between workouts. Fellipe suggested two power exercises that work your core.
1. Front throw with Wall ball: The front throw consists of throwing a weighted ball from your chest to the wall in front of you.
2. Kettlebell Swing: This exercise requires power and strength. Hold the Kettlebell between your legs with your arms straight, chest up, and shoulders back. Slightly bend your knees and swings the kettlebell to your chest height back to your heels using the power of your legs, ensuring you push your hips forward. This is an explosion exercise, so use all your strength and power!
V-sit ups: Lie down with your back to the mat with your arms extended behind your head. Lift your back from the mat and break your knees at the same time, as if you are hugging them. A 4x 10 set is a good way to get started! For a challenge, keep your legs straight as they rise, and reach up to tap your toes overhead.
There are a variety of workouts that target different parts of your abdominal. There is no specific exercise that you should or shouldn’t do, but it’s important to always change them up so your body doesn’t get used to the same movement. Tell us which is your favourite!