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Most folks when it comes to abdominal exercises are looking to get a sweet six pack, and no, we’re not talking the liquor store variety.  Yes, crunches can target one muscle group, but there are other ab muscles to hone in on for full core stability.  As well as other muscle groups there are many exercises to broaden your core strengthening routine.  Here are a few to mix it up, while strengthening core stabilizers that protect the spine.

  1. Modified side plank or full side plank with elbow to knee – use this one to target obliques.  Chose which plank you’d prefer, then lift your top leg as you reach your arm over your head.  As you laterally flex your side body pull your elbow toward your knee, then slowly extend the arm and leg back to the starting position. Go for 10 reps to start then work your way to 20reps on each side.
  2. Down Dog to Plank or Dolphin to Plank- these will target your transverse abdominis as well as rectus abdominis.  Choose your starting point full plank or forearm plank. Keeping your neck in a neutral spine, float your hips to the sky, using your abs to lift your torso away from the floor. Keep your chest hollow and your shoulders depressed and retracted. Hold at the top for 1 second, then slowly lower back to plank. start with 10 reps work to 20 reps.
  3. Fore/Aft Spinal Rocks – this one will get the rectus abdominus.  Start in a seated position, with bent knees in front of you, float your feet off the floor. Keep your hands behind your head, tuck your chin to your chest, and touch your elbows to knees. Hold as you gently roll to your back, just touching your shoulder blades to the floor, then roll back up. Keep your abs engaged and pause at the top in the balanced positioned. Go for 10reps keeping your elbows glued to your knees glued the entire time.
  4. Spinal Balance with a crunch – this will target all abdominal core stabilizers.  From a tabletop position, on hands and knees, reach right hand forward while extending the left leg behind, reaching in opposition from fingers to toes. Start to round the spine, draw the right elbow toward the left knee as they bend to meet near the belly.  Extend long back to reaching position.  Complete five reps and then slowly return to tabletop. Maintain a squared-off shoulders and hips as you continue to move. Switch to complete on the other side 5 reps.
  5. Plank reach & twist – Targeting obliques & transverse abdominis.Start in a plank position. Rotate to inner/outer edges of the feet in order to float the right arm out to the side then up to the sky.  Bringing the right arm back down to reach just under the side body while staying in side plank.  Float the right arm to retrace back up to the sky.   Repeat this side for 10reps before switching to the left side. Work your way up to 20 reps each side. 

    This ab sequence can also be taken to the fit to really get those abs and stabilizers.  Come get GlideFit!