A few weeks back we introduced you to the muscles of the abdominal core, well, some of you, I am sure that many of you were already well acquainted with them.
Today, as promised, we would like to devote a few lines to explaining a couple of great core muscle exercises for training the abdominal core. There are a lot of different ways to train any muscle, but these two are easy to get the hang of and will help you to strengthen the area.
There are so many benefits so do give them a go.
The Plank (or Bridge)
The plank (also known as the Bridge) is one of my personal favourites as it allows you to train the entire core area in one go.
Position yourself face down on a mat with your elbows beneath you, in line with your shoulders. Your hands should be together forming two sides a triangle with your elbows forming the other two corners. Your legs should be close together with your knees and toes on the ground.
Next, whilst focusing on the muscles of the core and using them to generate the force, lift your body and legs off the mat. Your weight is now being supported by your toes and your elbows.
You have to try to keep your body in a straight line from your toes up to your shoulders. Your abdominal muscles and your buttocks should be tight. Don’t let your stomach droop down towards the mat or arch your back.
Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times in total. As your core muscles get stronger you should hold the position for longer.
The Side Plank
The Side Plank (or Side Bridge) is one of many variations on the bridge. It is a core exercise that I include in most of my training sessions.
The basic principle is the same as the standard Plank but this time we position ourselves with one side of our body to ground. The elbow is positioned directly beneath the shoulder again, but this time it is only one elbow; the other hand is placed on your side. Our weight is supported on the side of the lower foot (not the toes as in the standard plank).
Hold the body in a straight line from the shoulders to the feet, taking care not to let the hips drop towards the ground. You should feel the tension in the muscles of the side of your body that is closest to the ground.
Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times in total. Build up the length of the sets as you get stronger.
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