“Dude, how do I get abs??”
The question that any trainer worth his slim fit Under Armour shirt cringes at…
But then I realized I haven’t really touched on the topic of core training in the past apart from a brief mention when pointing out the benefits of gymnastic rings training.
So today I’m gonna show you three brutally effective core exercises that will take your core development to a whole new level.
As you must have noticed by now, I have a special relationship with advanced bodyweight movements and gymnastic rings. I would never tout a training method or implement as superior to others, but you can’t argue with the effectiveness of ring training.
The ring L-sit is an excellent core movement – well, technically it’s not even a movement since you’re trying to move as little as possible during its execution – that challenges the mid-section like no other common isometric exercise.
I’m no betting man but I’d wager my entire hockey fight tape collection that no more than 1 or 2 guys out of 100 could perform the ring L-sit with their legs straight and parallel to the floor for longer than three seconds if randomly challenged to hit the position in the middle of their workout.
The move that Bruce Lee made popular.
Doing these in a public setting never fails to elicit long stares and the occasional “damn, son!” from those gym-goers whose idea of effective ab training consists of 500 crunches on a fit ball.
I recently started playing around with the Valslide, which is a cheap piece of equipment that allows you to turn certain pushing exercises into more of a hybrid between pushing and pulling due to its sliding nature.
A great example of that is the Valslide push-up with forward reach you can see above.
While one arm stays stationary on the ground (push), you use the other arm to reach forward as you descend and then pull it back to starting position. Balancing out the movement caused by one limb while the other stays put requires a great deal of core stability and makes this exercise so effective.
So there you have it… three awesome abdominal exercises I like and recommend for making direct core training more challenging beyond your standard dose of sit-ups and bicycle kicks.
Many of you have requested more training videos and tutorials over email. I may break these advanced abdominal movements down to easier variations and provide progression steps as I recently did with ring push-ups in a future post, so be on the lookout for that.
If you enjoyed this article, please do a brother a favor by liking, commenting and sharing it with others who might dig it as well.
Yunus Barisik, CSCS, is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for an elite junior hockey organization based in Espoo, Finland. He has trained hundreds of hockey players at the junior, college and pro levels, including NHL Draft picks and World Champions. An accomplished author, Yunus has had articles published on top fitness and performance sites, including STACK and Muscle & Strength. He also wrote Next Level Hockey Training, a comprehensive resource for ice hockey players on building athletic strength, size and power, while staying injury-free.
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