Better Core Training Part 1: Abs
What comes to mind when I say the word “core?” Your abs, right? Wrong! Your core runs from your sternum all the way down to your hamstrings and includes your lower back, abs, hips, glutes, and hamstrings. In this article I will focus on training your abs; the first step to building a bullet proof core.
Do you play hockey lying down? I didn’t think so! Then why are you doing ab exercises while lying on your back? It doesn’t make much sense does it? Your abs should be done while standing up to maximize strength building. They support your upper body, arms, head, and hockey gear. Do these several of these ab exercises at least twice a week to build up your core.
Resistance Band Crunches
Set up an average band (green) in your squat rack with a slip knot. If you don’t have a squat rack, you can loop the band around a pull up bar or any kind of secure object. Keep your lower body straight and bend at the hips. Lower your upper body until it is in a parallel position with the floor then reverse direction until you are standing up. Do not bounce or jerk the band. Perform the movement in a slow and controlled manner. Flex your abs during the entire descent.
This exercise is very similar to the resistance and crunches except you are kneeling and facing the band or machine. A lat pull down machine with a tricep rope attachment is ideal for performing this exercise but a resistance band will do just as well if you’re on the road or can’t make it to the gym.
Kneel in front of the machine (or band) and grab the tricep rope with both hands. Lower your body in a controlled motion while flexing you abs.
The Ab Wheel
This exercise focuses in on both the top and bottom portions of your abdominal muscles. Place the ab wheel on the floor, get on your hands and knees and grab the handles of the ab wheel. Extend straight out so that core is parallel to the floor and then return to the beginning position.