This “perfect” abdominal workout trains the 4 functions of the basic workout

If your abs workout starts and ends on your back on a yoga mat in the corner of the gym, you’re not doing enough. And even if you turn around for a plank or two, your efforts will still fall short.

The main problem with this type of routine, according to men’s health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS, is that even if you accumulate the repetitions, you do not use your abs enough. You’re probably only doing one or two types of movement if you stay in one place, and your core has several functions that you’ll want to use in your workouts. You have to challenge your body in different ways if you want real results.

Improve your core routine by following Samuel’s example and choosing exercises that use all functions of the muscle group. These four essential functions are:

● Bracing

●Anti-Rotation

● Rotate

● Vertebral flexion

The perfect abs workout for all essential functions

Bracing: Hollow Hold / Hollow Rock

3 sets of 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off

You train to strengthen your core when you do planks, but planks can get old quickly. Turn around and try the hollow grip. In addition to giving you a new challenge, hollow grips allow you to level up more easily by holding weight in your hands or adding a stone.

Anti-rotation: maintaining the row of weighted boards

3 sets of 30 seconds on each side

Again, you’ll be upgrading the base board. This time you will add weight and fight gravity (using your core) to keep you from falling (rotating) out of position.

Rotation: Hanging typewriter

3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions

“When we think of rotation, the main thing I want you to think about is that your hips go one way, or not at all, and [the] the shoulders go a different way,” says Samuel. The overhead typewriter uses a difficult stance in an overhead hollow grip, then adds rotation as you raise your legs over your body.

Flexion of the spine: preparation in 3 steps

3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions

This is probably the move you think is related to ab workouts, since sit-ups and related exercises are all about bending. You’ll improve the basic principle (and add load) with this holding movement that also engages other muscle groups.

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