There are literally hundreds if not thousands of ab exercises to choose from but the one shown here is possibly the most versatile. This does much more than just hit your abs and help you carve up a six pack. In fact, it has far reaching benefits that help you to stretch out your lower back and hamstrings while decompressing your spine as well.
In this video, I show you the most multi-purpose ab exercise that you can do that has roots in Pilates. This is one of those moves that belongs in your ab workouts but often times gets overlooked. Some think that anything Pilates based is too easy or not intense enough to fit into their ab routine. That is a major ab training mistake.
In fact, without the ability to maximally activate your transverse abdominus you are going to struggle to perform pretty much every other ab exercise. So not only is this one of the most important that you can do but it is going to improve your ability to do the rest of the exercises in your ab workouts.
One of the main benefits of this ab exercise is the ability to help you stretch your lower back and hamstrings. That said, you need to understand how to change the position of your pelvis during the move to ensure you hit both areas. As you perform the move you will do it with a posteriorly rotated pelvis. At the top this will stretch out your lower back and your hamstrings to a much smaller degree. To shift the focus to the hamstrings, move from a posterior tilt to an anterior tilt and the stretch will be greatly intensified.
Shift back to the posterior tilt and lower back down to the floor to begin another rep. The key to performing this ab exercise correctly is to make sure you are literally trying to paint your spine back to the ground one segment at a time. By doing this, you are going to gain more control of your core while strengthening it.
This will also teach you how to breathe and contract properly. As covered in a previous video on bloated abs you want to make sure that as you exhale you are cinching down your stomach by contracting the transverse abdominus. This means your stomach should never push out even though you are blowing out. Your stomach should get tighter and smaller as you breathe out and contract your abs. This exercise will ensure you do this right.
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