13 abdominal exercises, with and without accessories, to work your core and middle zone

Our middle zone, known as abs or rather core, is the most important point of all our muscles, since if it presents weaknesses, something as basic as our body posture will be directly affected. And starting our day with poor posture is but the beginning of countless problems and future injuries.

Therefore, working our middle zone either in the gym or at home is something that seems vital to prevent possible injuries that reduce our state of health.

Abdominal work with the core sliders

In our previous article we already talked about this accessory and gave a series of exercises with which we could work practically our entire body, although it is true that they are usually used more for add intensity to our core work.

Plank jacks

Starting from the classic abdominal plank position, the objective of this exercise is to open and close our legs trying not to lose tension in the entire core area. This exercise can be done both with the support on our forearms and in the flexion position.

Another variant of this exercise that we can try is, instead of placing the discs on our feet, place them in our hands and perform the movement by opening and closing the arms. This exercise is going to be quite demanding, so would not be highly recommended for beginners.

Mountain climbers

The movement of the climber is one of the most common exercises when we talk about the core musculature: starting from a flexion position, the goal is to bring the knees alternately as close to our chest as possible without the hip “sinking” , that is to say, maintaining constant tension in the musculature of the central segment.

With the use of core slidersThis exercise can be done with some modifications, such as drawing a crescent while performing the climber’s movement.

Frog movement

Named for its similarity to the movement that a frog makes with its legs when jumping, this exercise is very similar to the movement of the climber, with the difference that in this one, the movement of the legs will be simultaneous.

As in the mountain climbres, this exercise allows us a certain margin in the movement of our legs and to be able to trace circles while we perform the exercise.

The Alligator Pass

This exercise consists of moving forward only with the strength of our arms while maintaining (or at least trying) a front plank position with our feet resting on two core sliders.

This core movement with sliding discs is a challenge, especially for those who do not have some control and strength in the abdominal muscles, so it should be done at advanced levels.

To do this, we must place the sliding discs on the toes of our feet and adopt a plank position with support on the palms of the hands. From this position, the goal is to adopt a posture similar to an inverted V, that is, trying to bring our feet closer to our hands. The previous flexibility work is also important.

Pulley exercises for your abs

The Lumberjack

The woodcutter or “woodchoper”It is one of the most typical exercises that we can perform on pulleys to work our abdominal muscles, and it has variants depending on how we want to work.

The basic movement is designed to work mainly our obliques, and consists of drawing a diagonal: we can start from the low pulley grip, in which case we must bring the pulley from the lowest position to the opposite diagonal and up, or we can start from the high pulley grip, in which case we must draw the diagonal downalways keeping the tension of the pulley cable constant, since otherwise we would relax our muscles and the exercise would be completely inefficient).

Press pallof

This is another magnificent exercise that will help us to work our oblique abs with the help of a pulley. The main precaution we must take is to do not use too much weight for its execution, since we could cause an excessive increase in the rotational force in our spine. It is, therefore, an exercise indicated to work with low loads.

To begin, we will stand on the side of the pulley machine, we will hold the grip with both hands and we will stick them to our chest at the height of the sternum. Next, we will separate from the pulley machine until we notice that the cable is tight enough and, from here, we will separate the hands from the chest.

We will notice that the pulley tries to “pull” us to the side, and If we do not keep the tension of our abdominal muscles constant, this force will defeat us.

Sit-ups with abdominal wheel

The abdominal wheel is another of the accessories with which we can work the core muscles avoiding harmful and dangerous movements such as crunches or Russian twists, so its benefits will be greater.

To work with the wheel, we can start from two positions: either resting on our knees, or, if we have enough control and strength in our core, starting from the standing position. In either case, there are two points that we must take into account to avoid injuries:

  • The position of our wrists: when lowering and sliding the wheel, people tend to slightly arch their wrists, and this almost always ends up leading to injury. To avoid it, we must “lock” the wrist and always position it so that it forms a straight line in extension with our forearm.

Taking these two points into account, the objective is to get to adopt a final position as horizontal as possible, regardless of whether our initial position was kneeling or standing.

Abs exercises with body weight

Side Shift Plank

Starting from the initial front plank position with support on our hands and feet, we are going to include movement to this exercise to add intensity. The objective is to move laterally, moving arm and leg at the same time, always in a controlled way. (avoiding jerking and jerking).

We can set the width of the living room of our house as a goal and go through it making this type of plates. This exercises will help us gain strength in our core and improve our coordination and balance.

Iron with cross support

The cross-support plank is a variant of the classic abdominal plank, but with the difference that instead of leaning on both hands and two feet, we will lean on one hand and the opposite foot. That is to say: we went from four support points to just two.

Side plank with knee support

Is side plank variant It differs in that instead of adopting a lateral position with the leg straight, we flex the leg and support the knee laterally on the floor. In this way we will reduce the stress that can be placed on the knee if we do the side plank with the legs stretched out.

Abs workout with a bosu and fitball

Incorporating a bosu to our abdominal work will incorporate the component of instability that this accessory generates, so will increase intensity with which we must work and, consequently, the results.

Abdominal plank on bosu

To perform this exercise, we will support the bosu on the ground on its flat part, leaning ourselves on the semi sphere with our forearms (another option is to lean on the palms of the hands, increasing the distance of the lever and the instability).

Another option to perform this exercise is to rest the bosu on the ground on the half sphere and support ourselves on the flat part, either with the forearms or with the hands in a plank or flexion position.

Sliding abdominal plank on fitball

To perform this variant of the abdominal plank, we must lean on the fitball with our forearms and adopt a classic plank position. Next, the movement to perform would be similar to if we were sliding on the fitball on our forearms front and back.

This article was originally published by Miguel Fitness in February 2018 and has been revised for republication.

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