Core Workout with iSupp Ambassador Mathew Tidball.

Commonly asked questions: How to build a rock solid core?  What are the best ‘abs’ exercises?

The following article will explore these commonly asked questions as well as providing some example work outs using both the deep and superficial muscles.

Everybody wants the perfect 6 pack you see on the front cover of magazines.  However, achieving a rippling torso isn’t easy.  Just think, if it was easy surly everybody would have cheese grater abs.

Also, a 6 pack isn’t about doing 1000 sit ups or crunches a day.  Everybody has the Rectus Abdominus muscle however in some this is closer to the surface than it is in others.  I see lots of individuals who are carrying a little weight around the midsection doing hundreds of abdominal exercises, however, you need to peel back the layers to expose the underlying muscle tissue.  A good 6 pack in my opinion is a combination of diet, general exercise and specific abdominal exercise.  You need to master all these components in order to achieve the desired outcome.  Again in my opinion some individuals would be using their time a lot more wisely working on general exercise such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training – Physique Article to follow) cardio or metabolic circuits and tightening up their diet before focussing on specific abdominal workouts.

As previously mentioned, we are all born with the Rectus Abdominus muscle which is the superficial (close to the skin) 6 pack muscle that we all see and admire.  In order to develop those chissled abs then attention must also be paid to deeper structures.  These deeper structures are commonly referred to as ‘core’ muscles, namely Transversus Abdominus and Mutifidus.  These muscles are deep stabilising muscles acting as a ‘corset’ to your spine.  If these work effectively then your superficial structures which have more of a movement role can work more efficiently and hence develop more!  Think about it, would you build on sand? No!  Therefore don’t try to sculpt those perfect abs on a jelly core.

For this reason I personally incorporate and utilise a combination of both specific abdominal exercise and core stability exercises.  I tend to train abs about twice a week and vary the exercises as much as possible. With some movements I include a twist to engage the side muscles (obliques).

Here are some of my favourite sessions.  Give them a go and boss it!

 

best Core training excersises

Session 1 – 9 minute blast

Front plank 1 min

Side plank left 30 seconds

Side plank right 30 seconds

Single arm (left) front plank 10 seconds

Single arm (right) front plank 10 seconds

25 crunches

25 reverse crunches (legs only)

25 windscreen wipers

Front plank 1 minute

Side plank left 30 seconds

Side plank right 30 seconds

Single arm (left) front plank 10 seconds

Single arm (right) front plank 10 seconds

 

best Core training excersises

Session 2

20-25 leg raises. X5 sets with 40 seconds rest between sets

1 minute between exercise.

20-25 crunches. X5 sets with 40 seconds rest between sets

1 minute between exercise.

20-25 rope crunches. X3 sets with 40 seconds rest between sets

1 minute between exercise.

20-25 rope crunches with a twist. X3 sets with 40 seconds between sets.

 

best Core training excersises

Session 3

Rollout with ab wheel OR gym ball x 12 reps

INTO

Gym ball crunches x 12 reps

INTO

Gym ball bridging x 12 reps

Perform as a mini circuit.  X5 sets with 1 minute rest between sets.

 

best Core training excersises

Session 4

Decline crunch (Use decline bench) x10

Decline crunch with a twist x10

INTO

Weighted leg raises x10

Perform as a mini circuit. X5 sets with 1 minute rest between sets.

 

 

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