The front floorboard is a popular exercise for promoting core stability. Because of me. It has some advantages and there are certainly ways to make it harder. The problem is that it's boring to hold a static position for more than ten seconds, and most men avoid doing it.
There is a better option – something that is much more challenging. You can only hold a board for 10 seconds (or less) and then do several stops with very short pauses in between, so that the total time spent in tension is one minute or more.
Here are the exercises to run down to come play. They provide more static contraction than the standard front floorboard and you do not need to hold each repetition longer than with both hands.
I first encountered this exercise in Barry Ross' book Underground Secrets to Faster Running. No matter how hard you think, your core is, Ab 45s will humble you! So do that.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and hook your feet under something sturdy, like a machine or two heavy dumbbells. Or let yourself be held down by a training partner with your feet.
- Scoot your butt as close to your heels as possible. Extend your arms all the way up and keep them in line with your upper body throughout the set.
- Lift the head and torso at a 45 degree angle. Make sure you take your arms with you and keep them fully outstretched and in line with your upper body.
- Hold this position for a solid 5-second count, then lower the head and torso back to the ground. Inhale below and repeat the process.
Build up to 5 sets of 5 reps with 5-second hold times, and work your way through until you hold each repetition for 10 seconds.
. 2 Reclining Field Goals
If it's too difficult to start from the bottom up, try this top-down exercise.
I discovered this exercise in Nelson Montana's e-book "The Bodybuilding Truth". According to Montana, abdominal development is genetic and classical movements such as sit-ups and leg raises are ineffective for the abdominal muscles, but extremely effective for the psoas muscles (hip flexors).
Montana believes that the abdominal muscles respond best to contractions. no movement and are much more stressed when trying to stabilize the core. You will understand what "trying to stabilize" means when you try the exercise.
- Sit on the floor, legs bent at about 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor.
- Tuck lean your chin into your chest, round your back and grasp the outside of your knees.
- Now lean back until your arms, still holding your knees, are straight. Make sure your chin is pulled in and your back is rounded.
- When you have fully extended your arms, lift them slowly until they point directly over you. If you're struggling to keep your balance, you can pull your feet out a little to make it easier. The closer your feet are to your hips, the more challenging the exercise and vice versa.
- Hold the contraction for 5-10 seconds and repeat. Work to a point where you can do 10-12 repetitions.
This exercise does not require any equipment and can be done anywhere. Let yourself fall to the ground and try it out. You will be surprised how challenging it is.
A word of caution: It is not uncommon to suffer from cramps in these isometric exercises. Make sure you are well hydrated and when you start fighting, stop. Stop your body. If you try to keep going, you will get a spasm, which is the way your body is trying to force you to stop. Take it slowly and gradually increase it over time.
. 3 Superman Back Extensions
This is a great antagonist movement for the above moves. Do it with a back-high or glute-ham-raise machine.
- Extend your arms all the way up and hold them in line with your upper body parallel to the floor throughout the set and consider this position a rigorous 5-count. Then down again and repeat.
- Build up to 5 sets of 5 reps with 5-second hold times and work your way through until you hold each repetition for 10 seconds.
All these exercises make for great finishers. You can pair the ab exercises with the back extension in a parent way or switch between an ab exercise at the end of a workout and the back extension at the end of the next workout.
The plank is for Newbs
The 5 best abdominal exercises for athletes