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We all wish for and sometimes even pine after that super sexy flat belly or washboard abs. In the past, we have even resorted to crazy measures – like doing sit-ups. If cruel and unusual punishment effectively flattens my middle into a trim tummy then I suppose crunches would have to do. Fortunately, our panel of expert contributors have provided us with these alternative and effective core strengthening exercises that enables us to replace sit-ups for good!
Work It to The Core
Strengthen your core muscles efficiently by doing open kinetic-chain exercises. These exercises have only one end of your body stabilized against the ground or against an exercise machine. Because your body is stabilized only at one location, you have to fire muscles continuously to maintain balance throughout your workout. Strengthening of your core will occur from multiple angles and engage multiple core muscles On the eliptical machine, let go of the handrails while you exercise and balance yourself on the rotating foot pedals. Do abdominal crunches from multiple different angles on a thera-ball. Apply this philosophy throughout your exercise routine and you will strengthen your core and it will better serve as the foundation of all your physical activity
Use Your Core Daily to Improve Overall Quality of Life!
As a certified fitness trainer and developer of a core-centric full body workout device I would have to say that the best way to strengthen your core is to do exercises using only one side of the body at a time while standing on a vibration platform, a Bosu ball, a balance board, or sitting on a stability ball (in that order) with your back not being supported and with moderate to low weight that is challenging but not to the point of recruitment of more than secondary muscles. Let the intensity come from the form and isometric isolation rather from more weight than can be moved without momentum. Core strength is dictated by your power to weight ratio so the more lean mass (specifically muscles and bones) v. total weight the better.
Andy Brown, President, Timefighter Fitness
Creative Core Exercises
Your core can be worked on daily and in different capacities. Most trainers recommend that you challenge your core for at least one hour per week. When working your core, there are different areas to strengthen: the upper, middle and lower abdomen and the obliques. The best core exercises – that people often forget about – are things other than traditional sit-ups. For example, challenging your balance during a workout forces you to use your core to stabilize yourself. Try standing on a BOSU ball when performing a strength exercise like biceps curls or perform walking lunges with an oblique twist. Boxing is also an underestimated, but fabulous core workout because you are twisting and turning to punch the heavy bag.
What is your favorite Bosu Ball exercise?
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