|Are Your ABS Ready |
For Summer 2013?
Another thing that people totally skip over is the stability aspect of exercise. Sure ab machines work your abs, but it doesn't mean you have core stability. For example 9 times out of 10 when I ask someone who’s using an ab machine if they can do a 60 second plank they can’t, most barely even make 30 seconds. Planks and other isometric exercises, like an isometric leg raise are great for the abs and core because they build stability. Why the heck is stability so damn important you ask? Think of it this way, would you build your dream home on a crappy, soggy, foundation with no stability? No, so then why are you trying to build your abs on crap foundation! I like to go by the rule that if you can do 3 sets of 60 second planks, and 3 sets of 60 second isometric leg raises with 45 seconds of rest between each set, then you have enough core stability to use or do whatever other ab machines and exercises you want!
Stability doesn't just apply to planks and leg raises though, there are also a lot of people out there I see who do super heavy lat pull-downs with horrible form and yet they can’t even do 2 consecutive pull-ups. Same goes for people bench-pressing or using chest press machines and yet they can’t do 10 consecutive push-ups The problem is they need to build more core stability; just because you can’t do a regular push-up or pull-up doesn't mean the exercise is out the question, all you have to do is regress it. Try push ups from the knees, push-ups on an incline; and for pull-ups you can use a TRX and do rows allowing yourself to get lower and lower towards the ground where you’ll be pulling more of your weight just like a pull-up! You should always have your calisthenics down before you move onto heavy resistance training.