For today, we will give you a well-balanced core workout, which will pretty much help you condition the abs, as well as the surrounding muscle groups, improving all their properties.
As in every other workout that we have on our website, we start off with a light, crunch movement, which will help you activate the muscles we will target later on in the workout. We then proceed to a variety of exercises, that target different parts of the core and we also have a lower-back movement, as the lower back is the antagonist of the abdomen.
The workout is finished off with an exercise that requires a great deal of balance, so do expect getting some arm pump as well!
The priority here is set on the whole core and that includes the six-pack. The goals for this workout are to get a good number of contractions, as well as isometric tension with the second and last exercise.
We do not have any weighted exercises here, which is why this workout is just perfect even for beginners. If it is hard for you as a beginner however, you can tweak the numbers of sets and repetitions, as well as the duration of the hollow hold and the L-Sit.
This is also relevant vice versa- If you are advanced, you can still do this workout, but to give yourself a good challenge, try increasing the parameters.
Now let’s get into the workout layout, after which we will showcase and explain the execution of each exercise.
|Hollow Hold||2||15 seconds|
|Hip raise with knees bent||2||15|
- Sit on the decline bench and tuck your legs under the pads comfortably
- Lay down and place your hands behind your head
- Crunch up, contracting the abs, without letting your lower back come off the bench- That is to avoid excessive spinal tension and hence, injury
- Hold the contraction for a split second, then return to the original position
- Lay down flat on the ground or your yoga mat and extend your arms up and behind your head
- Crunch up slightly, tensing the abs, while simultaneously raising your legs in the air straight
Hip raise with knees bent
- Lay down on the ground and place your arms by your sides
- Keep your heels closer to the hips
- Raise your hips, lifting them off of the ground
- Contract the abs and hold briefly
- Slowly return to the original position
- Get on the hyperextension bench and place your ankles underneath the pads
- Make sure your hips are just at the edge of the leg pads and you have sufficient space for torso movement
- Place your hands behind your head
- Keep your back straight and move down slowly
- Extend up, contracting the lower back muscles
- Get on the parallel bar, balancing on your arms
- Look forward and raise your legs, so that your body forms an “L”
- Hold for as long as possible
If initially you can’t really hold it, try doing slow repetitions and brief holds.
Warm Up & Prep
Here is for a mandatory mention- Make sure to properly warm up prior to starting the workout, in order to avoid cramps, fatigue and injury.
Your warm up should include ~5 minutes of low-paced cardio, as well as a good all-around warm up for the musculature.
Keep in mind that you should not just blast through each movement. Instead, focus on a controlled execution, full range of motion and optimal peak contraction.
Last but not least, do not forget to breathe properly- Inhaling on the negative part of the movement, where no muscle tension is applied, and exhaling on the eccentric part, where you contract the working musculature.
As this workout focuses more on the conditional side of the core development, namely developing the strength and endurance properties, you can include vacuums in your daily and training routines.
Vacuums can pretty much be done anytime and anywhere. Seated, standing or even laying, simply exhale fully and contract your abs. After that, suck them in and behind your rib cage. Hold the vacuum for a few seconds and release.
Vacuums will help you develop a thick, well-separated abdomen and will also give you a slimmer-looking waistline, as your belly will stay naturally tucked-in.
On top of all those benefits, you also get a good massage on the internal organs, which is never a bad thing!
To learn more about vacuums, check out our article on The Stomach Vacuum exercise.
We recommend you to do this exercise after your back workout, if the fatigue isn’t excessive and unbearable.
That means you can’t (or shouldn’t) do this core workout every day, as it won’t lead to optimal results. Instead, focus on having a good rest time in-between each workout- 72~96 hours.
That way, you will optimally recover and be ready to smash your next workout, rather than step into it barely moving.
This core conditioning workout is perfect for everyone. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced, you can make perfect use of this particular workout. Even if this specific number of sets and reps is too easy or too hard, with a few tweaks you can give yourself a hell of a workout!
It is important to keep in mind that a well-conditioned core must be developed through properly paced repetitions, controlled with the musculature and the breathing instead of bashing through the movements.
Pay attention to the execution of each exercise and if needed, have a personal in-gym trainer correct it and help you. Favor your body with proper nutrition and last but not least- Do it in a smart way!