20 Minute Ab Workout
This week I thought I would blog about my ab routine. Like my cardio sessions, my abdominal routine runs completely separately to my weights training sessions. A typical ab session for me lasts just 20 minutes and requires no equipment what so ever! That means no matter where I am I can perform a consistent and challenging ab workout. Now you can too.
My routine consists of 3 super-sets & 2 finishers.
1st super-set: (2 exercises performed back to back with no rest) (sets: 3)
20 reps of double leg raises
40 reps of dead bugs2nd super set: (sets: 3)
15 reps of oblique side bridges
25 reps of single leg raises
3rd super set: (sets: 3)
25 reps of sit ups
1 minute plank
Crunches to failure
Russian twists to failure (with a 2kg medicine ball)
Your abdominals are a muscle group that you are using constantly every day, meaning that making them fatigue can either take a lot of weight or a lot of time. By putting the super-sets in there I am reducing the time that my abs have to recover, upping the intensity of the workout and making things an awful lot harder.
I do this first thing in the morning before work or university and do my weight training in the evening, but you can do it whenever you like. After work, at lunch time etc…
Training your abdominals is a little different from training other muscle groups because your diaphragm rests beneath your abs. The basic premise of weight training is to contract a muscle (completely) and progressively overload it. However when you train our abs if you have any air in your lungs your diaphragm will expand to accommodate the oxygen, preventing your abdominals from fully contracting. When you don’t fully contract a muscle you aren’t getting all you can out of the exercise. This means that form and breathing technique in any abdominal exercise is of paramount importance. For example when doing a sit up you are contracting your abs on the upward portion (concentric) of the exercise and extending your abs on the downward portion (eccentric). So you always want to make sure you are breathing out on the upward portion and in on the downward portion. Not only that but when you reach the top of the movement (when your abs are contracted the most) you want to make sure that you have expelled all oxygen from your lungs allowing for the best contraction possible (try to tense at the top). This principle applies to any ab exercise.