Hard Core Abdominal Exercises
Do you have a hard core? Or do you think can do any of these abdominal exercises? I challenge you! These are some of the most advanced core exercises on the planet. They’ll help strengthen your abs from many different angles and in a variety of ways. I thought that these wouldn’t be too hard until I tried these. Holy cow, I was wrong. This first one will seemed so easy, until you do just a few.
1. Banana Roll
It may look and sound a little silly, but it’s hard work. And it’s foundational stuff: Rolling over is a skill that babies have, but many adults have lost. Get it back with this roll.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with arms extended overhead, legs straight out. Lift into a “hollow” position — arms and legs lifted, lower back pressed into the ground, head in line with the arms. Engage your core and roll to your left using your abdominal muscles, not your hips. Roll until you’re on your stomach and are in a Superman “flying” position. Roll back the way you came. Now roll to the right onto your stomach and return to start again.
2. Cross-Climber With Feet on Swiss Ball
Keeping your hips stable and body aligned gets a whole lot tougher when the ground can roll. Throw in a ball and you add even more instability — that’s the idea behind many of the moves on this list, including this one.
HOW TO DO IT: Start in push-up position, but with your shins on a Swiss ball. Your body should form a straight line from ankles to head. Without rounding your lower back, lift your left leg off the ball and bring that knee toward your right elbow. Return to start, then bring your right knee up to your left elbow.
3. Dragon Flag
While you may not rock the dragon on a farmhouse wooden table with a fire burning in the background while you train to avenge the death of your friend and formal rival, you can pretend that’s why you’re working on this punishing move.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie faceup on a bench and grab the bench next to your ears so that your elbows are bent and your upper arms are next to your head. Your hands are there simply for support — don’t pull with them or you’ll wrench your neck. Use your core to roll up onto your shoulders until your body is straight and perpendicular to the ground –basically, you’re stacked on top of your shoulders. From here, slowly lower your body using your core, maintaining a straight body line. Work toward bringing your body down until it’s hovering just above the bench. Then bring it back up to the start and lower slowly again.
4. Hollow Rock Popularized by CrossFit
This exercise, like the banana roll, will make you feel silly twice — first for how you look and second when you realize how much you underestimated its challenge.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with arms extended overhead, legs straight out. Lift into a “hollow” position, with arms and legs up, lower back pressed into the ground and head in line with the arms. Using your core to get going, rock your body so that you look like the bottom of a rocking chair.
5. Incline Reverse Crunch Crunches
Incredibly popular but most people agree they stink. But throw in some incline (gravity!) and reverse the movement and you’ve got a whole new challenge.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie face up on an incline bench with your hips lower than your head, your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Grab the bar behind your head for support or grasp the sides of the bench. Lift your knees toward your chest. Slowly lower your feet toward the floor and repeat.
6. Medicine-Ball V-Up
Concentrate on pressing your lower back into the floor at the beginning of each rep by pinning your navel to your spine. This will engage your pelvic floor throughout the exercise.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with your legs straight. Hold your arms straight above your head, gripping a medicine ball so your elbows are by your ears. Without bending your elbows or knees, contract your abdominal muscles, fold your body up by lifting your arms and legs off the floor and stretch your arms toward your toes. Keep your back straight. Pause, then return to the starting position.
7. Renegade Row
Awesome name for a double-duty move. Keeping your hips level as you row each dumbbell to your shoulder will tax your core while you train your lats.
HOW TO DO IT: Assume a push-up position while holding a dumbbell in each hand directly below your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Maintaining this body line, bend your elbows until your chest is between the dumbbells. Press back to start, then bend one elbow to row the weight up next to your rib cage. Return it to the floor, do another push-up and repeat on the other side.
8. Single-Leg Squat and Row
You don’t need core-specific exercises to train your midsection. It has to fire in all kinds of moves, especially squats. Make it a one-legged version and you’ve added additional instability. Throw in a row and, well…you get it.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand facing a cable machine stack set at shoulder- or waist-height. Grab the handle with your left hand. Stand on your right leg with your knee slightly bent, your left leg trailing behind you. Push your hips back to squat with your right leg. As you stand back up, bring your left leg forward so your knee is up in a marching position and row the cable to your side. Return to start, repeat and switch arms and legs
9. Single-Leg Straight-Arm Side Plank
This move is pretty much the pinnacle of side-plank progressions.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your right side, prop up on your right hand with your hand directly beneath your shoulder and arm straight. Your feet should be stacked on top of each other, your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Extend your left arm so that your body forms a T. Maintaining this rigid body line, separate your legs, raising your left leg until your body forms a five-pointed star. Hold this position for as long as you can maintain a rigid torso. Repeat on the other side.
- Source LiveStrong