Over the course of the last 4 years I’ve become more and more aware of what the real function of the muscles of you abdomen. It’s not must there so you can have a “6 pack” to show off at the pool or beach, its an intricate web of muscle meant to stabilize and transfer power from your lower to upper body and vice versa. Building abdominal strength can improve your posture, prevent or correct lower back pain, and improve not only your squat and deadlift but your overhead press and military press as well!
Imagine replacing the middle portion of the space shuttle with aluminum foil. As soon as the rockets fire the foil will collapse, the top section would fall to the side and instead of the shuttle taking off into space, it’s not even going to make it off the pad. The same principle applies to your abdomen when you’re in the gym. If your abdomen can’t stabilize your upper body and the weight you have on your shoulders or in your hands then you aren’t going to complete the lift.
Where most conventional abdominal training falls short is that there is very little stabilization between the upper and lower body. Crunching and 99% of the abdominal training exercises that are routinely performed in todays gyms don’t do anything besides build lactic acid in the muscle and let people “feel the burn” of the exercise which doesn’t do anything except build the endurance of the muscle. If there is no strength to the muscle the what is the point of endurance?
To take your training numbers, posture, and overall badassness to a new level, drop your old ab training routine and throw these in to replace them.
Turkish Get Up
This can be performed with no weight, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, (or if you are ridiculously brave) a barbell.
1. Lie on your back with legs flat, 1 arm in the air by itself or holding a weight, with the other arm at approximately a 45 degree angle from the body with the palm flat on the floor.
2. Keeping the arm that’s in the air pointed at the ceiling the whole time, go from lying on your back to standing up and back down.
Perform 2-3 sets of 3-6 reps per arm at the beginning and build up as you feel comfortable.
Trust me, it’s easier described then done!
Not only does this drill make you stabilize both the upper and lower body at the same time, it increases coordination levels and is a very good shoulder stabilization exercise.