Ron's Core Workouts - Abs and Back

Crunch Circuit

Safety First!

Any elongated body exercise puts extra pressure on back...
b.   Tuck and dip quot;chairquot; - face out with forearms on arm rests/legs hanging straight down - raise knees to horizo...
g.   Dynamic stabilizers 1   quot;Vquot; sit with arms forward or crossed/lift up straight legs- sit back/lower legs (open...
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Abdominal exercises


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Abdominal exercises

  1. 1. Ron's Core Workouts - Abs and Back Crunch Circuit Safety First! Any elongated body exercise puts extra pressure on back; ego Supermans (should not be done without abdominal support like an exercise ball), Supine (on back) leg raises or sitting/leaning back with legs outstretched and arms up aligned with body or sitting leg raises with torso twist (especially if holding weights/medicine ball in hands!). If you have back issues don't do these or bend knees and keep feet closer to core (focal point) to reduce stress on lower back. Don't arch your back. Take the time to press your lower back into the mat if supine before the exercise. Use an exercise ball to support either your stomach (when doing a prone exercise) or under your lower back when doing a supine exercise. • do exercises slowly to fully engage muscles;; don't jerk or use a violent start to gain momentum; breathe properly (quality not quantity!) • at end of repetition maintain partial engagement before lifting again • do 2 or 3 ab exercises then do a few back exercises then return to abs or do back stretches such as quot;child's posequot;, quot;cowquot;, quot;catquot;, quot;downward dogquot;, quot;cobraquot;, ... in between and especially at end of workout Remember many of the following can be done using the Swedish or Exercise Ball, Bosu, Core Board or Wobble Board to work on stabilizers too. a. Toe tap - Supine/legs up knees bent 90 -lower one bent knee and tap floor, raise up to 90 and repeat with other foot. A good warm-up for core. b. supine/ legs bent/feet flat/hands on forehead - raise chest towards ceiling (don't bend neck) and return to almost touching mat and repeat; don't yank! c. supine/legs up and bent 90- lift chin, chest and shoulders up as in a. d. supine/legs straight up (probably closer to 45 _. 60 degrees) -lift chest as in a. e. supine/legs bent/feet flat - crunch with torso twist to opposite side/knee as in a.; keep onside shoulder flat; can do 6-12 to each side only first and then alternate f. bicycle 1- sitting/legs out and one leg few inches up/arms crossed- alternately bring one leg in and then out g. bicycle 2 - sitting/legs out and few inches up/arms crossed -lean back and then draw both legs in while crunching chest up and then legs out and upper torso back h. bicycle 3 - supine but abs engaged so shoulders up a few inches/hands behind head or on forehead/legs straight out and up a few inches - draw left leg in and torso twist to left to drawn in knee, return to start and draw in other knee and torso twist to it; going fast only helps cardio not abs! Can do this with lower back on ball-' easier on back but also more stability required. Can also do this standing up lifting knee and bending and twisting torso to touch elbow. i. Side crunch - both knees on right side but shoulders as square as possible/arms bent/hands on forehead or behind head- lift chest and return. Repeat on opposite side. Can do this on crunch machine. j. Dynamic Crunch - supine/knees bent/arms overhead holding medicine ball- lift and pass ball to standing partner in front of you, go back down and lift again and catch ball from partner. Repeat. k. Roll back crunch- supine/bend knees/arms spread eagled out - roll back as far as you can. Return and repeat. quot;Chair Crunchesquot; a. Any bench or backless chair - sit holding seat of chair or bench/lean back/knees 90 degrees and feet flat on floor - raise knees up and in towards your body, lower feet but not quite to floor and repeat
  2. 2. b. Tuck and dip quot;chairquot; - face out with forearms on arm rests/legs hanging straight down - raise knees to horizontal and hold for 4 count, lower slowly and repeat; for increased difficulty can raise feet to horizontal (press back into chair) Toe Touch Circuit - remember to quot;disengage musclesquot; after each rep so that muscles have to re-engage at beginning of each rep. Concentrate on proper breathing again. a. Sitting/arms up straight overhead/legs out straight and flat -lower torso to touch toes (or ankles!) leading with chest and return. Remember to 'dropquot; your shoulders when back to raised arm position b. Sitting/arms out parallel to floor/legs out straight and flat - torso twist and lower to touch opposite toe; return to start and repeat c. supine/arms straight and flat over head on floor/legs straight out and flat -- sit-up raising arms in line with torso to ** if bad back do not do this or anything with body elongated ie. Legs up and straight and touch toes (or ankles!) arms up and straight back = too much pressure on lower back d. sitting leaning back/arms straight up/ legs straight out- raise legs to 90 (or 4S degrees!) and try to touch toes and quot;pulsequot; S times, lower legs and torso and then repeat Back and Stabilizer Circuit - Most of the following can be done on a Swedish or Exercise ball or Bosu or Core Board or Wobble Board a. front plank - push-up position but on forearms; keep back/butt straight; maintain for as long as possible; to add difficulty lift one arm and hold; to add more difficulty raise arm and opposite leg or go to push-up on hands and do previous raises or put forearms on exercise ball or Bosu b. side plank - rotate to one side/one forearm down and other either lying on top of body or hand on hip/ one foot slightly ahead of the other; to add difficulty - stack feet and/or raise arm, look and point up and/or have light dumbbell in raised hand and lower in sweeping motion while rotating body but not feet so hand/dumbbell comes under body and rotate back up and/or raise leg and arm (quot;starquot;) c. arm and leg raises - prone/ arms and legs straight out- raise one arm and opposite leg. Alternate with other sides but do these slowly; add to difficulty by sweeping arm and leg out as far as you can. This and Superman can be done with stomach on exercise ball. d. Modified Superman - prone with stomach on ball, arms bent (hands-up position) and legs back feet on floor to stabilize- rotate hands and bend head to down (90 degrees) then lift both arms and head to horizontal (in line with slanted body) and hold for S count. e. Back Bridges - supine but on elbows/legs out straight -lift butt and hold for 6 count and return. Can do this with upper back on ball and hands on head. f. Cable Torso Twist - use the rope or a two handed cable handle. There are three exercises with three different st heights for the pulley positions. 1 position is High{Wood Chopper or Golfer)- high pulley/feet shoulder width apart parallel facing 90 degrees to the cable/ upper torso and arms facing the machine/both hands holding the rope or handle- begin to shift weight and rotate the body pulling the rope down at a 4S degree angle (like you are chopping wood!) until you end up facing downwards and your hands are aimed about 2 feet from your toe. Do 6 times and switch sides. Remember you are using your torso (side muscles) to turn and pull the cable not your arms (this will nd strengthen your arms and shoulders too). 2 position is horizontal (Baseball swing) - cable is just a little higher than rd horizontal- same procedure as #1 (different side muscles). 3 position is Low (Throwing a bucket of water through a window!). Remember to do all exercises to both sides for balance!
  3. 3. g. Dynamic stabilizers 1 quot;Vquot; sit with arms forward or crossed/lift up straight legs- sit back/lower legs (open up the V) and then return (watch your back!) h. DS 2 - sit on exercise ball or front of bosu - hold another exercise ball or medicine ball straight out and do big circles each direction; then rotate torso horizontally side to side i. DS 3 - sit on ex ball and alternately lift and straighten leg/swing arms; Add to difficulty by speeding up like a marching Drum Major (with fast arm action and high knees) j. DS 4 - sit and lift both legs up balancing on ball k. DS 5 - back on ball/hands behind head- rotate torso side to side I. DS 6- stomach on ball/hands on floor- lift legs together m. DS 7 - kneel on exercise ball n. DS 8 - stand up straight-lift one knee-straighten leg out- re-bend knee - rotate knee out- straighten leg- re-bend- lower leg and repeat with other leg. Add to difficulty by: putting arms out and leaning to one side or dipping forward and extending leg horizontally back or do a one leg squat and repeat squat or entire rep to other leg; or hold a medicine ball in one hand and move arms out/up/side; or doing everything on a Bosu or wobble board o. DS 8 -lying prone on ball with thigh or knees or shins or toes on ball (closer to toes the more difficult) , hands on mat (like a push-up but legs on ball) - contract abs and draw legs in (ball rolls) and jackknife butt up. Roll back to start and repeat. Recommended reference: quot;Core Performance Essentialsquot; by Mark Verstegen, Rodale Press- I have a copy if anyone wants to borrow it.