The search for the elusive abs has everyone doing so many crunches and variations of crunches it boggles the mind. We all to often forget that the abdominal muscles are just a part of our “core” musculature and are for the sole purpose of stabilization.
Rarely in our everyday life are we required to perform a crunch like movement. Crunches aren’t functional and doing them doesn’t directly transfer to your core being stronger when you need it to be.
Instead of crunches give your core a stimulus that mimics real life demands. Whether those demands are bracing for moving a wheel borrow full of gravel or catching a body weight snatch in the gym.
The Hollow Rock
Simply being strong enough to get into a perfect hollow body position is challenging enough. Then doing a static hold in the position gives new meaning to the words “core workout.”
But the toughest expression of this gymnastic position is the Hollow Rock. Assume the Hollow Position and lock every muscle in your body in place. Now rock back and forth like a rocking chair without breaking that position at all. Don’t kick your legs. Don’t swing your arms, and don’t hinge at the hip.
The l-sit requires very little technique but is incredibly difficult. Simply supporting your body with your arms extend your legs out in front of you. Now hold for as long as possible. Increase the length of your hold as you get stronger.
Scaling The L-Sit
You can scale the l-sit by bending your knees and pulling your feet back under your hips. Increase or decrease the difficulty by moving your feet in or out. Even with knees bent a 1 minute hold is pretty difficult.
The GHD Sit-up
The GHD Sit-up is like taking a normal sit-up and putting it in the cast of Mad Max Fury Road. These things are intense and extremely potent. They even require some special equipment that looks like it could have been designed for the movie as well.
Sit on a Glute Ham Developer (GHD) facing the foot rest. Lean back so that your body is parallel to the floor and slightly bend your knees. Quickly flex your quads to straighten out your legs and sit-up at the same time.
Over time as you build strength you can lean back even further so that you can touch the floor by reaching your hands above your head.
Do not do 100 of these if you’ve never done 1 before. You will be seriously broken and maybe in the hospital. Gradually build your capacity until you can handle a larger volume.
Stop the madness of all the crunches and focus on these three functional abdominal exercises. And of course remember that those elusive abs are found in the kitchen, and not in the gym.
Now go live better.