Personal trainer’s tips for resistance training for your abs!
Chelsea Personal Trainer's top tips for a flatter tummy don’t include doing high repetitions of the same exercises such as the crunches from a supine position (lying on your back). Instead, we suggest resistance training exercises that use your whole body in a functional way, using smaller number of repetitions, varying the speed where appropriate, and isolating/holding the muscle in an isometric (static) position to increase gains.
1/ Functional / resistance training. Indirect abdominal exercises such as squats, lunges and pushups use your abdominal muscles. Not only do these functional movements use the big abdominal muscles (RA), they also use the obliques (muscles that help you to rotate/twist for example in a forward lunge with a rotation to the left and right) and the transverse abdominis (your ‘belt’ muscles that stabilize the spine when training) at the same time.
2/ To gain more power and strength in your RA, try to do 8-10 repetitions of specific RA exercises using body weight only (if new to abdominal exercises) or added weight and varying the speed at which you repeat the exercises. Try to be slow and controlled in a few reps then explosive and fast in another few repetitions. Do 3-5 sets of 8-10 repetitions and remember to vary the pace. Example exercises may include: 1/ hang off a tree or a bar and with bent knees, lift your legs (or with straight legs for added exertion) to your chest and 2/ same as 1 but lift your legs to the right and then to the left.
3/ Isometric exercises such as the plank or side plank helps in the strengthening of the RA. Alternatively, try to hold your tummy in for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat up to 20 times while siting at your desk, in traffic or in front of the TV. By holding the tension in your abs while at the top of the sit up/crunch exercise you will increase the strength of your six-pack in no time and certainly in less than 1000 reps!
These three powerful ways of training your abdominals will have them on show in no time for your summer holidays!
Contact Agi for more information on how we can help you to feel fitter and to shed the abdominal weight gain over the Christmas period.