Want Six Pack Abs? Try These Six Floor Exercises (Pt 2)
Welcome back to my series on getting a stronger core! My last post was on ab exercises using the Rings or TRX. This time, I am going to focus on exercises that require little to no equipment other than a surface for you to lay on. These are easy to do when you’re traveling or at home watching Netflix.
To be honest, before I started this series, most of my floor exercises consisted of V-Ups and Planks. I did a bit of research and found some new exercises to add to my regimen. Evidently, I have a really pointy tail bone, so I must do all my floor exercises on a soft floor. Although in the videos, I’m on a soft floor, you can use a more practical surface like a yoga mat.
To start off for each of these exercises, try to do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. Work your way up to 1-2 minutes per a rep. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat 3 times. To make some of these more difficult, you can add weight. Form is the most important part. If your form is failing, stop and rest.
Hollow Hold & Hollow Rock
The Hollow Hold is the basis of many floor exercises. It’s definitely important to have good form for this one. Lay on your back and lift your shoulder and feet off the ground. Keep your feet a few inches off the ground and make sure there is no arch in your back. If a friend were to try to slide their hand under your lower back, they shouldn’t be able to touch your spine.
The hollow hold is a good exercise by itself. I have been doing it since my very young gymnast days. But recently, I learned about the HOLLOW ROCK!
You get in the hollow hold position, lift your arms by your ears and rock back and forth. Then lower one arm in front of you while the other arm remains elevated. Continue rocking and then switch arms. You can add weights to this one to make it more fun!!
Should the plural being Supermen? Anyway, these are good to include in every circuit. They stretch out your abs that you’ve been working so hard on. Supermans are pretty much the opposite of the hollow hold. Lay on your abdomen. Lift your arms to your ears and lift your legs off the ground. Some days I just hold them steady and other days I lift them up and down off the ground. To make this exercise harder, you can transition directly into the hollow hold and then back to the superman.
Now its OBLIQUE time!! You’ve probably done a Russian Twist before, but i’ll explain it a bit before I get into a new variation I recently tried. Sit up on your butt and raise your feet a few inches off the ground. With or without a weight, twist to one side as far as you can. Its easy to just move your arms side to side without actually engaging your oblique. I like to keep the arm that is crossing the body somewhat straight to make sure I am using the proper muscles.
My new favorite oblique exercises are Hollow Hold with a Twist!! Start in the hollow hold position and hold a weight (or use no weight) with bent arms over your chest. Then twist to one side, keeping the arm on the side you are twisting to bent and your other arm straight. Maintain the hollow hold the entire time. You’ll feel the burn after few reps of these!
ARMS UP, BUTT UP
Okay, I don’t actually know the name of these. Please comment if you know the proper name. Lay on your back and lift your legs up to make a right angle with your body. Lift your arms up and touch your toes. I like to have a weight in my hand or a weight between my feet. These exercises are directed at your upper abs. I like to connect these with leg lifts and “butt ups'“. After you have touched your toes and lowered your upper back down, slowly (the slower the better) lower your legs to a hollow hold! Lift your legs back to where you started originally and then go straight up and lift your butt off the ground.
You can do the “Butt Ups” by themselves. I believe some people keep their arms down and others up, so I demonstrated both in the video below.
These next two exercises require equipment, ab rollers.
For these, start on your knees with the ab roller in front of you. Push the ab roller as far out as you possibly can and return to the starting position. These are nice because you can roll straight out or to the sides to work your obliques!
To make these even harder, do them on your toes instead of your feet! I still have a lot of work to go to push out even further, but here is my best attempt!
These exercises not only work your abs, but also your triceps. When I tore my left tricep a year ago, my physical therapist taught me these. When I recently hurt my right tricep, I quickly returned to these exercises. I probably should have never stopped. These require an ab roller that goes in each hand. Start on your knees and hands on the rollers. Push one arm out while keeping the other arm at your side. You will bend the arm at your side as if you are doing a one arm push up. Then pull back the arm you pushed out and bring it to the level of your other arm. Then repeat with the other side.
Please share your favorite floor ab exercises! I’m always looking for new challenges!