Starting with the very first exercise decline barbell borrows.
To begin these exercises you’ll want to sit back on a declined bench with a barbell or a body bar in your hands.
If you have a partner that can hand it off to you it makes it much easier to get settled in, but if not you can just stand it up vertically next to the bench,
and then just tip it onto yourself once your feet are locked in and you’re ready. You’ll want to keep your elbows bent and hold the bar either close to your body or your hips.
Do not lock your elbows out and turn this into more of shoulder exercise. Instead, you’ll want to lean back until your upper body is about even or a little under your knees,
and then you’ll want to mimic the arch-like rowing motion that you get when paddling in a kayak or a small boat.
You can go side to side like this for reps, but I would recommend aiming for a certain time under tension like 30 to 60 seconds since this exercise has a big isometric component to it.
And trust me in that short amount of time you’ll really feel the burn with this one.
Even though you’ll primarily be targeting your obliques here your rectus abominus or the six-pack muscle will also be activated to stabilize and hold your upper body in that declined position.
Another exercise you might’ve seen online, but never considered trying yourself is the Raised Leg Ab Stack.
This one will require you to use the risers that go under the aerobics steps.
These risers are available at almost any gym and you can usually find them by the group class areas.
Now once you have a couple risers lay down on the ground and position the risers above your head.
Also, raise your legs up and bend your knees so that your shins are parallel to the floor.
Raise your hands above your head, grab a riser, crunch up, and place it on your shins, then keep repeating until all the risers are stacked on top of each other.
From there you’ll want to reverse everything you just did, by crunching up and removing one riser at a time from your shins and placing them back behind your head.
This exercise is really awesome because it almost incorporates a similar structure to drop sets.
As you stack more of the risers on your shins you have to crunch harder to reach higher, but then after you stack all of them and you start removing them one at a time,
it becomes easier with each riser taken away. A couple rounds of stacking and unstacking and your abs will be toast.
Let’s move on to another one I rarely see people doing – the Trx multiplanar knee tuck.
Here you would start by sitting facing the trx with your feet under the trx straps.
Cross the trx straps over each other so that your right foot goes in the left strap and your left foot goes in the right strap.
Then throw one foot over the other and turn over so that the straps are no longer crossed and you’re on your stomach.
From there get into a pushup position and brace your core so that your heels, hips, and head stay in a straight line the whole time.
Don’t allow your hips to drop because that could end up causing a back injury, and don’t raise them up too high into a downward dog position.
Once you’re in the correct starting position tuck your knees into your chest, but rather than focusing on your knees concentrate on curling your hips into your chest.
Then return back to the starting position, and turn your hips over to the side as you tuck your knees once to each side.
Repeat this one for 10 to 20 reps and you can bet that you’ll be feeling it throughout your entire core.
Another great one that’s a little more advanced is the hanging L sit Leg lift.
Now, if this one seems a little too tough for you don’t worry I’ll give you a couple regressions,
but the exercise is done by hanging off of a pullup bar with your legs already raised at a 90-degree angle in an L-sit position.
Next, you would tilt your upper body back as you raise your legs up until your feet or shins meet the bar.
And then slowly lower your legs and rotate your body back to the starting L-sit position. Most people are unaware that regular hanging leg raises primarily work the hip flexors,
not the abs. But by starting in an L sit and by curling our hips into our chest we target the abs much better.
With that said, if this is too hard for you then try to do it with your knees bent instead of extended.
It would be the same idea here, except you would basically be doing it in a bent knee L sit position.
Now if it’s still too hard to reach the bar with your knees bent just try to curl your knees
and hips towards your chest as high as you can before returning back to the starting position and repeating for reps.
Moving on to exercise number 5 we have Power rope medicine ball slams.
Now this one will require a medicine ball that has a rope attached to it as well as a concrete wall.
If you don’t have a concrete wall or a power rope ball, I’ll show you a couple variations you can do with a regular medicine ball in a second.
But to begin this exercise normally, start by standing close to a wide enough concrete wall with your back facing it.
Hold the rope with both hands, then turn your body and slam the wall to one side. As soon as the ball bounces off the wall you’ll want to explode in the other direction and slam it into the other side.
Then go back and forth, trying to aim for a time like 30 to 60 seconds. The exercise may look crazy, but man will your obliques be burning.
Another way you can do it if you don’t have a concrete wall is to get down on the ground into the same position you would for Russian twists and then twist back and forth as you slam the ball side to side.
Now if you have a wall, but not medicine ball with a rope. you can take a regular medicine ball,
position yourself close to the wall, and follow an arch-like path, rotating your body and accelerating the ball from your hips ultimately slamming into the wall for reps.
I personally feel a lot more from the rope ball, but we’re all limited to the equipment that’s available to us.
Another awesome exercise that most people aren’t doing is the inclined pulse up, and if you’re thinking,
“I’ve already known about pulse ups” I challenge you to try it on an incline because it feels totally different and puts a lot more tension on your rectus abdominus.
If you have a decline bench it’ll help, but you can also perform this exercise just by taking a regular bench, sitting at an incline, and holding on to the pad behind your head.
But regardless of which of these you use you’ll want to lay back against the bench, grab something sturdy behind your head, and point your feet straight up towards the ceiling.
Then drive your hips and legs straight up almost in a straight line. You don’t want to wind up with your feet and legs going over your head.
Next, we’re going back to the obliques with a great exercise known as landmine Russian twists.
Now I know a lot of people out there that don’t know about regular landmine 180s, where you would place the barbell into a landmine,
and rotate the barbell side to side with your arms extended to target your obliques.
But a variation of this exercise that could be much more effective for the core is the landmine Russian twist.
The major difference is that with the Russian twist version you would start on the ground with your feet and upper back slightly elevated off the floor.
Then just like you would with the landmine 180’s you would keep your pretty straight while turning the barbell from one side to the other.
If you’re a beginner you can also regress the exercise by performing it with your feet on the ground to make it easier.
Next, we have one that I’ve shown before, but never see people doing. Resistance band pikes.
To perform this exercise you would need Val slides or furniture movers as well as a resistance band.
You can technically use paper plates in place of Val slides if you’re okay with people at the gym taking pictures of you while you’re working out.
But in either case, you would start by anchoring the resistance band to something sturdy that won’t move when you pull on it.
Then step inside the resistance band and put Val slides under both of your feet.
Now, inch your feet forward until most of the slack is removed from the resistance band and get down into a pushup position.
Then walk your body forward some more until you feel some resistance pulling you back.
At that point, you’ll want to slide your Val slides along the floor towards your hands while raising your butt up towards the ceiling.
Then return to your original starting pushup position and repeat for reps. If this happens to be too difficult for you,
you can also do a Val slides knee tuck with the resistance band.
Just make sure that you’re trying to curl your hips into your chest on each rep.
For our last and final exercise, we have a simple one that you might’ve seen before, but might’ve not the hollow body rock.
For this one, you would start lying on your back and then raise your feet and your upper body slightly above the ground with your hands above your head.
Then you would just rock back and forth for a certain time interval. It can be 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or 90 or more seconds depending on your level.
So that’s about it guys, I know some of you may have known at least a couple of these exercises, but I truly hope that I was able to show you at least a few new moves that you can incorporate into your ab workouts.
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