Toe Touches & Abdominal Training
Do you train your abs properly?
Do you feel every repetition?
Do you use insanely high reps just to feel the burn?
Do you use additional weight?
In most cases, people don’t know how to feel the abs working correctly, so they go for more higher rep range, anything from 15-30 reps; possibly more. In my experience, I do prefer to aim for around the 8-12 repetitions maximum, but adding additional weight.
You need to remember that your abdominals are just like any other muscle in the body, so it should be trained like any other muscle. You can add resistance via plates, cables, resistance bands and medicine balls with progressive overload as well which can be done in many ways such as increasing in weight and reducing in rest time between sets/rounds.
An exercise I like to use a lot with my classes and clients is toe touches. Now, I feel this really does hit the full abdominal area.
Some people may not have the flexibility in their hamstrings to raise their legs as high so a pregression of this would be to flex the knees by lowering the heels towards the floor and shortening the hamstring muscle (back of upper leg) to a 90-degree angle.
1. Lie on your back with your feet high, in line with the hips, knees bent slightly if needed, then slightly raising shoulders off the floor and extending the arms out in front of chest holding medicine ball or plate.
2. Taking a deep breath, contract the abdominals as if taking a punch and slowly crunch up, keeping the lower back flat on the floor and exhaling at the top of the movement to really squeeze and feel the proper contraction of the abdominal area.
3. Slowly and in a controlled manner, lower your body to the floor. A good guide I use is feeling each vertebra of the spine touching the floor one at a time; this lets me know I’m descending in a controlled manner. Keeping shoulders off the ground, you will then repeat.
Give this breathing technique a try on any of your abdominal exercises described in point 2 and let us know how much of difference you feel.
Craig – Tailored Physique Fitness