|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on May 10, 2015 at 5:55 PM|
(Photos by Will Mebane, graphic by Priscilla DeCastro)
People tend to lump all of the abs together. But your abs are actually a relatively complex series of distinct muscle groups, each with different functions in the body. They include your deep core muscles (transverse abdominis), side abs (obliques), and six-pack muscle (rectus abdominis).
Most abdominal exercises predominantly work one of these groups. Planks, for example, primarily train the deep ab muscles. Traditional crunches target the upper part of the six-pack muscle.
How to do this workout: Perform 12 reps of each exercise on both sides of the body, then immediately jump into the next exercise with minimal rest. After one round (all three exercises), rest for up to a minute; repeat for a total of three rounds. Do the workout three times per week on nonconsecutive days.
1. Power Plank:-
This is not just your average plank...
Start in a plank position with your elbows on the ground beneath your shoulders and your forearms pressed against the floor. Your body should form a straight line. Lift your hips and draw your knee to your chest; pause, then return to the plank. Alternate knees with each rep. Perform 12 reps per leg (24 total).
2. Under The Bridge:-
This move hits multiple ab muscle groups at a time...
Lie on your left side. Stack your feet on top of each other. Prop yourself up with your left hand and raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Raise your right arm to the sky. This is the starting position. Rotate at your waist to thread your right arm underneath your body; reverse the movement to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete all of the reps on one side, then switch.
3. X Dog:-
This particular move trains your abs in a way similar to how you naturally use them in real-life settings...
Get down on your hands and knees. Reach your left arm toward the wall in front of you; straighten your right leg and reach your foot toward the wall behind you. This is the starting position. Bend your right knee and windmill your left arm behind you to touch your fingertips to your shoe (or get as close as you can). Reverse the movement. Perform all of the reps on one side, then switch sides.
By: Amy Rushlow
*(Amy Rushlow is a National Magazine Award-winning editor and a certified strength and conditioning specialist)*