Here are abdominal exercise tips and perhaps the best ab workout tip that you may ever come across. A couple reasons why this info is so good.
When doing your workouts, it shouldn’t ever be about getting from point A to point B. The goal of the workout is to contract the muscle that you are working to get from point A to point B. You have to put a purpose behind what you are doing. This makes a huge difference as to the type of results you can see from your ab training.
Here’s an example of the traditional crunch for what we might be doing when training at home. In order to do a crunch effectively, we need to get our shoulders up off the ground. The result is a posterior tilt of the pelvis and a well-executed rep. This movement may look right, but there may not be effort to make this movement effective over the long term. What we must be doing is contracting the right muscles that are supposed to be doing the work. There’s a difference when you see a well-executed rep vs one that isn’t performed so well.
When done correctly, you exhale out and come up crunching your abs. The degree of contraction and muscularity in the core is amplified immensely. This is what you want.
To do the Reverse Crunch, you know you have to get your hips and pelvis up off the ground. However, if you really want to make it an effective exercise, don’t focus a lot on counting reps, focus more on the quality of the contraction. With every single rep, focus has hard as you can on the muscles you are trying to work. Focus on your breathing and the muscle contraction to actually see yourself working the abs hard.
Start being in control of your muscles instead of your muscles being in control of you. There’s a big difference between just coasting through a workout and working HARD through a workout. Once you start implementing these abdominal exercise tips, you’ll begin to see results right away.
We aren’t measuring strength by the fact that you can make it through a difficult ab workout. Or maybe you can do particular ab exercise better than a lot of other people can. And just because you train well, it doesn't necessarily mean your abs are strong. It could just be you have strong hip flexors and your abs are actually being dominated by them while your abs are still weak.
Here’s a quick test to get a good idea of your level of ab strength. This is a simple movement where you lie on the ground and do a leg lowering test. Lay on the ground and establish a flat back. By keeping your back flat on the floor, you are activating your abs. To engage our abs, we get into a posterior tilt position.
Strong Abs vs Strong Hip Flexors
More dominate hip flexors will try to pull you into anterior rotation. If you can raise your legs and hold them straight out, this could indicate you have strong hip flexors, but if we are able to still hold a posterior tilt to counterbalance our legs, then we also know we have strong abs also. Flatten your back and take your thumbs to point them to connect them under your back. The only way they connect is by going into an anterior tilt. We don’t want any space at all. So, we keep the back flat (posterior tilt) to engage the abs.
Ab Strength Test
Begin the test by pointing your thumbs under your back and lifting your legs up. As you lower your legs down you want to see if you can withstand the weight of the legs against gravity by maintaining the posterior tilt. Go up to about 90 degrees and slowly lower down to about 75 degrees. If you get to this point and start to lose the posterior tilt, you have a pretty weak set of abs. If you make it to about 45 degrees then break position, this is a decent score. If you are able to go down lower to about 30 degrees, this is a much better score. If you can make it to just above the floor, this is tough because we have the weight of our legs against nearly full force of gravity.
Reverse the Direction
Now, see if you can reverse the direction and go back up without breaking the posterior tilt. It’s where along that chain did you break that determines the strength of your abs. See if you can go to about 30 degrees without breaking into anterior pelvic tilt. Next, go up to 45 degrees. Next, go up to 75 degrees. Then finally, back up to 90 degrees.
Where you break during those movements is how you determine what needs to be trained. This can become your new exercise. For example, get in the range where you break and then back off. You can perform this with reps. If you can do this 2 seconds at a time (2 seconds down to 75 degrees, 2 seconds down to 45 degrees, 2 seconds down to 30 degrees, etc) this can be a 10-rep killer just by doing 1 set.
This is a quick way to test your abs with a follow up way to train them based on the results of the test if you find that you still need to improve your ab strength.