Abs, Abs, Abs

I rarely train my abs directly.

I find it unnecessary, and not to mention the fact that most ab exercises put a lot of stress on my lower back and are just painful and not fun in the least. But to each their own. I know a lot of people who like training their abs (well actually, I prefer the word 'core' as it's not JUST your abs but lower back as well). I wish I had their motivation. Le sigh.

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Let's just get it out there that I don't find ab training necessary. Lower back, yes, abs, not really. Why? I feel like all of the compound movements I do take care of my abs, as I always have to contract my core and utilize it to have good form while doing exercises such as squats, lunges, standing shoulder press, bench press, etc. If you perform an exercise correctly, most likely it will affect your core in some way. Except for bicep curls. Just saying.

Well, on Friday my dad and I hit up the gym. I had planned a core workout for the heck of it and some functional training as something different than my typical strength training workouts focusing on one of the major muscle groups like chest, back, legs, arms and shoulders.

I'll go through what I did if you want to try it. It wasn't brutal while performing all of the exercises, but the days afterwards, my core has been aching. I couldn't even twist my torso, it was that bad. And it STILL hurts. I tried stretching out my tummy today and it just wasn't having it. So if you like that feeling, this workout is for you! *cue sales pitch*

If you rarely train abs like I do, this will shock the system hence the major soreness. Onwards, friends...

I first warmed up (which is crucial) with split lunges and jump squats. I did a few sets of those, then I did three sets each of Pallof Press (both sides) and hanging leg raises as a superset. Here is a great video demonstrating the Pallof Press. It is great for targeting the core and one of my favorite exercises. For the hanging leg raise, you basically hang from the bars and bring your legs up, straight, and slowly back down. If you can do toes to bar, then you are so lucky do those for the extra challenge!

Next, I moved to the decline bench. For three sets, I did reverse crunches on the decline. Here is a good demonstration of this. I then hooked my legs in the decline bench and did Russian twists with a 25 lb. plate. (For a demo, go here.) This was also a superset.

Finally, I moved on to the open floor. This was my favorite part of the workout. It is the functional portion, and I loved it! I am a big fan of the battle ropes, so I hooked the rope through a 45 lb. plate and laid it at the end of the open floor. Go to the opposite end. For each side (you will stand facing your right pulling, then bring BACK the plate to the other side of the floor, walk back, and face your left, then repeat), I braced my core and pulled the rope until I got the 45 lb. plate to my feet. Here is a good example. Make sure to keep the core TIGHT and pull from the arms as fast as you can. This is a great functional movement and one of my favorite exercises. After I did each side, I took a 15 lb. medicine ball and did medicine ball slams. Keep your feet planted, your core TIGHT (so important) and slam down as hard as you can. It's a great exercise. I did this superset for three sets as well.After that, I foam rolled and stretched, as you should do after every workout.

Here is a better list of my workout:

I hope you all enjoy this workout and stay classy, San Diego. (Brownie points if you know the movie.)

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Posted in Fitness Post Date 08/04/2017