Abs Across The Week

| Movement

Having a strong core is essential to a healthy and high functioning day-to-day way of life, and furthermore critical to maintaining structural support and form throughout training movements.

When talking about ‘abs’ we mostly refer to the rectus abdominis muscle (the infamous 6 pack), which runs from the pelvis all the way up to your sternum. It is one whole muscle and the way to target this most effectively is through spinal flexion. We do have the ability to bias different ends of this muscle however, and train it in a variety of loads and resistance profiles, like any muscle group.

We can initiate trunk flexion by bringing the rib cage down towards our pelvis – which forces a stronger focus on the ‘upper trunk’ as it goes through a larger range of motion, while the ‘lower’ abs are being trained isometrically.
Alternatively, we can increase bias for the ‘lower’ portion of the rectus abdominis by flexing our pelvis towards the sternum.

Lastly, training the muscle isometrically is a great way to target the whole muscle and supporting obliques and transverse abdominis and find/limit weaknesses within your movement patterns.
When programming abs we want to start by incorporating 1 exercise from each of these resistance profiles and always aiming for quality over quantity. In this program we are working each profile 3 x week allowing for continuous progressive overload. By controlling each rep and focussing on isolating the targeted muscle, lower rep ranges and working times will suffice.

  • DAY 1

    3 sets

    A1. Upper trunk flexion – 6-12 toe touches
    A2. Lower trunk flexion – 6-12 reverse crunch
    A3. Isometric – 30sec paloff press [work to failure on last set], (resist rotation)

  • DAY 2

    3 sets

    A1. Upper trunk flexion – 6-12 cable rope crunch
    A2. Lower trunk flexion – 6-12 hanging leg raises/knee tuck
    A3. Isometric – 30 sec side plank [work to failure on last set] (resist lateral flexion)

  • DAY 3

    3 sets

    A1. Upper trunk flexion – 6-12 crunches
    A2. Lower trunk flexion – 6-12 fitball tuck
    A3. Isometric – 30 sec hollow hold [work to failure on last set]

  • This Program Has Been Created By

    Performance Coach Lizzy Sutton