Ab exercises

Everyone can always hope and dream of having the perfect set of abs, truth is they are a lot of work and you have to be 100% committed to getting them. Abs are not however made in the gym they are built in the kitchen. a decent diet plus exercises will get you there eventually. We all have abs they are often just hiding under your body fat so the only way to get them to appear is to lower your calorie and fat intake and burn fat through exercise. Not having abs doesn’t mean you can’t have a strong core. Especially in snowboarding you always want the strongest core possible as it will help you with your posture and technique, its helped me to be able to throw bigger and better tricks over the years.

Here are 5 of my favourite ab exercises that I try and do after every other workout:

Russian twist

Start by sitting on your mat with your legs in front of you. Lean your upper body back and lift your feet off the floor slightly so you are in a balanced V-like shape, your back should be about 45 degrees off the floor and your legs will balance you out. Twist your upper body to one side and the other slowly and keeping your balance, I often use my hands by almost touching the floor on either side to make sure I’m going far enough around. Your bum should be more or less flat on the floor and your legs shouldn’t move too much from the starting position. Try to imagine your shoulder that is opposite to the side you are turning is pointing up to the sky. Return to your middle stable position and repeat on the other side.

Regression- To make this exercise easier try keeping your feet on the floor this gives you more stability, do the movement like this until you feel comfortable and stable and then you can start lifting them up.

Progression – The lower your back is to the floor the harder the exercise gets so try and lean back a bit further. You can also try holding a weight in your hands (e.g. a medicine ball, a dumbbell, a plate etc.) Touch the weight to the floor on either side of you every repetition.

Plank side to side

Hold your basic plank position on your forearms keeping your bum down try not to overly pike ti into the sky. Slowly twist your core and dip your hips towards the floor on each side. Keep your core tight and engaged throughout the exercise your body should remain fairly straight throughout the exercise.

Regression- to make this exercise easier try holding the plank on its own for as long as possible this will build your core on its own and will help you to figure out your positioning. You can also hold the plank on your hands rather than your forearms if needed.

Progression- To make this harder you can add in an up-down movement when you return to the starting position. Begin the same as before by doing a hip dip on each side then return to a straight plank, from your forearms push up one hand at a time into a hand plank, step back down onto your forearms and repeat!

Single leg v-sits

Lie down with your legs straight out and arms above your head. Lift your upper body off the floor as you would if you were to do a sit-up and simultaneously lift one legaim to touch your foot with your hands then lower down both body and leg to your laying position and repeat with the other leg. Keep the movement slow enough so you are in control and you can feel yourself tightening your core on each repitition.

Regression- To make this exercise easier instead of keeping your leg straight out when you raise it up try to bend it as it comes into your chest so its more of a march. Then straighten it back out onto the floor and repeat on the other leg.

Progression- To make the exercise harder try holding a weight in your hands so each time you sit up it makes it harder. start with a light weight and work your way up.

Scissor kicks

Start by laying on your back, place your hands by your sides. alternate lifting your legs off the floor to approximately 35-45 degrees to preform the ‘scissoring’ motion. As you raise one leg up, lower the other keep repeating this. Ensure your core is engaged throughout and stay in control of the motion. Your back should be flat to the floor and not arching up during the movement.

Regression- To make the exercise easier, try keeping your legs lower to the mat as it keeps the pressure off your lower back. If you struggle to keep your back flat to the floor keep your feet just hovering above the matt. Slowly increase the distance between your legs and the floor as you get stronger.

Progression- To make this exercise harder try adding ankle weights. you can slowly build your way up to the larger movements as you get stronger. just ensure you back stays in contact with the floor and doesnt arch. Slowing the motion down to about 2-3 seconds per kick also makes it harder.

Plank jack Brazilian crunch

Begin in a plank on your hands. Your hands should be shoulder width apart and legs out behind you keeping your body in a straight line. Whilst keeping your hands flat on the floor jump your legs outwards as if you were to do a jumping jack . Jump back into a straight plank and bring each knee individually up towards your chest and squeeze the core. Repeat.

Regression – You can always perform the 2 movements seperately until you are conforable doing each movement before adding them together. If you struggle specifically doing the plank jack try doing toe taps on each side instead. Alternating one foot at a time just touch the floor ether side of you and the work your way up to a plank jack. If its the Brazilian crunch you struggle with slow the movement down so you can focus on the motion your knee only needs to come into where you can feel the tension.

Progression – To add some more difficulty to this exercise you can wear a weighted vest or ankle weights.

I hope that this has been super helpful and has given you some ideas to add into your next workout! As alway feel free to comment any questions or ideas!

Stay Strong!

Cerys XOX

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