It’s something that just about everyone is interested in, but they tend to only have a few exercises in their toolbox to accomplish it.
Small variations of those exercises.
That’s about where it stops for a lot of us.
Today I’m going to give you three ab exercises that you most likely haven’t seen before. They’re challenging, but also fun.
Well, I think they’re fun.
Often my clients don’t think they’re very fun at all. It’s OK. They can be wrong.
Let’s get to it!
Plank with Band Pulldown
These are a real challenge, when performed correctly. Having only one arm on the ground decreases your base of support, forcing the abs to work much harder to keep you stable. The pulldown action with the band provides some good work for the lats, and the constant change in tension from the band moving makes stability even more of a challenge.
- Brace your abs tight before beginning the movement.
- Don’t let your hips tilt or rock side to side. This is an indicator that you’re not getting enough stability in your abs.
- Start with the feet very wide. If you need more of a challenge, bring them in slightly.
Side Plank with Row
These are similar to the previous exercise in that they’re a plank variation, and you’ll be incorporating some work for your back. But they’re a side plank instead of a regular plank, and you’ll be rowing instead of performing a pulldown. So they’re exactly the same, but totally different.
You’ll want to start slow with these to make sure you’re not shifting front to back. The pull of the weight coupled with the instability of the side plank position makes it easy to get a little sloppy. And we don’t want sloppy.
- Keep your abs braced tight throughout the movement.
- Avoid letting your torso move forward or backward.
- Focus on getting a good squeeze in your back as you row.
As far as I know, I came up with these. That being said, I may have stole them from someone and not realized it.
(If you’ve ever had a dog that sits down and refuses to walk when you’re trying to be a good owner and get that dog some exercise because you love it and want the best for it even though it makes the littlest things so difficult some times, and for absolutely no reason, you’ll understand why I call these “Bad Dogs”.)
I’m a really big fan of these, and not just because (I think) I came up with them. They work the abs in a pretty unconventional way. They’re considered an “anti-rotation” exercise like a Pallof Press but the forces you’re resisting are coming from behind instead of from the side. They also have a bit of a plank element to them, in that the force of the band makes it easy to arch through your back and flare your rib cage. Both things you want to avoid in this movement.
If you don’t care about any of that, then let just say they’re hard and you probably haven’t done an ab exercise quite like these before. Because I invented them…did I mention that?
- Before you begin walking out, brace your abs tight. Think like someone is going to punch you in the stomach. That’s the kind of tension you want.
- Walk out slowly until you feel a good amount of tension in your abs.
- Keep your hand close to your side.
- Avoid letting your body rotate to the side of the band, or letting your rib cage flare.
- Hold for 10-15 seconds.
There you have it…three ab exercise that you (probably) have never seen before.
Give these a shot and let me know how you like them!