- Push ups
As I mentioned in Part 1 push-ups are a progression from the plank. By loading multiple muscle groups this exercise is effective in burning excess fat and building muscles. It is very important to keep your body in static position. The only moving parts should be your arms. If the exercise is too difficult you can perform it on your knees. The more advanced individuals can use TRX or a weighted vest. This is one of my favourite exercises as it works on the entire body.
- Side twist crunch
This is a variation of the crunch where you can focus more on the obliques and serratus. The most common mistakes I see is placing the hands behind the neck and not hitting enough depth. By placing your hands behind your head you risk pushing with your hands the neck which could lead to injuring your spine. The neck should be in neutral at all times. Just place your arms next to your ears to avoid this problem. Next, make sure you hit a good range of motion. Place your feet flat on the floor and try to touch knees with an elbow across. Control the movement on the way down and explode on the way up. That is how you can avoid creating inertia and enhance neuro muscular adaptations.
The exercises contribute to healthy development of the upper and lower abdominal muscles and coordination of the body as a whole.
5. Tummy Vacuums
The technique of this exercise is simple and effective. It is suitable for both beginners and advanced. The exercise has been used since the early years of bodybuilding and the original idea of it is taken from yoga.
Standing variation – Stand next to a wall in good neutral position. Take a deep breath and hold the oxygen in your diaphragm for 5-10 seconds before exhaling. I perform 3 sets of 10 seconds every morning on empty stomach. I perform it to ‘remind’ my body what is my desired body posture. It a great and easy way to keep my posture in good shape throughout the day. Not to mention the benefits of making my abdominal walls stronger.
Opportunities for training abdomen are numerous and varied. We are focusing on these five options, because of proven results, but this does not mean that your favourite exercise could be completely different. I encourage you to try different approaches and see what works best for you.