Most of my clients ask to finish their sessions with a good ab circuit. There is something about the final push and the mini burn we can get in our midsection that gives us the feeling of a job well done and I’m here for it.
When selecting ab exercises, I am pretty selective making sure that I choose ab exercises that are functional and usually in a form of a plank. So instead of just crunching, we are lifting and stabilizing or to ensure the client does not rush through the exercise, I’ll add a specific tempo. Certain key details can make or break the quality of an ab exercise.
The following are currently my top 3 favorite ab exercises to do with clients:
- Plank knee tap: This exercise challenges the whole core as you need to focus on maintaining stability as you tap your knees to the floor. Starting a modified plank position on your knees. Without lifting or moving your hips, straighten your legs, lifting your knees off the floor. Pause briefly and bring your knees back to the floor. For this one, I recommend a 1-2-1 tempo. Lift for 1 count, hold for 2 counts and tap down for 1 count. Repeat for 30 seconds. Rest for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times.
- Side plank with reach: A great upgrade to Russian twists! This ab exercise gives you that rotational work that targets obliques and adds a level of isometric work as you need to maintain that side plank position. Starting in a modified side plank position, lift your hips up and pause. From here reach with your top hand under your ribs, twisting and bring that arm back to starting position. Repeat for 8-10 reps before switching sides. Rest for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times.
- Walking plank: Finishing up the trio with another plank move! One of the more challenging moves as this requires you to do a bigger weight shift as you walk your hands forward while minimizing how much your hips move. Small movement is fine, the goal is to keep it minimal. The less movement, the more stable and the more your core will fire up! Simple start in a push up position with your feet shoulder width apart. Bracing your core, walk one hand forward then the other. Walk your hands back to start. Repeat for 30 seconds. Rest for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times.
Let me know if you give these exercises a try! I’d love to hear how they work for you or your clients.