We are at the final chapter of the “Step Up Your Game” series of articles for those beginners out there looking to reach the next level of success in the gym. We conclude this series with what I feel is the most important muscle group as it serves as the centerpiece of a physique and the “core” of athletic function. Yes, we are talking about the abdominals.
What Beginners Do: Crunches
It’s by far and away the most popular exercise for abs as the bench press is for chest. It’s also the simplest to perform and you can do it anywhere. It makes sense why it’s so popular and it’s a great exercise without question. However, we are trying to help you learn new exercises so you can improve your overall fitness and the exercise I’m sharing here is definitely going to challenge your core not just by bodybuilding standards but this could impact your fitness regardless of what sport you compete in.
Try This: Ab Roller or Ab Wheel
There are advanced guys who are now shaking in their shoes because of this exercise. The device is only a wheel the size of a training wheel with handles on each side. It looks harmless but trust me. The Ab Roller will kick your abs. (See what I did there?)
How To Do It:
Kneel on the floor and hold the ab roller in both hands. Place the wheel on the floor so that you are on your hands and knees. Slowly roll the wheel out and stretch your body out as far as you can while not touching the floor with your body. While doing this you should be taking a deep breath in. Pause for a second while stretched out. Now start pulling the wheel while contracting your abdominals and return to the starting position. Breathe out while returning to the starting position. This is one repetition. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Points to Remember:
You will probably not master the ab roller the first time you try it. Be patient and work your way up to doing it right and stretching as far out as you can. Also, don’t feel bad if you lose balance and fall a few times. Just make sure that you get right back up and keep working on it.
This isn’t one of those exercises that isolates one part of the abs. The upper abs, lower abs, obliques, and even your lower back will play a role in performing this exercise properly.
If you want to really push the envelope, push the wheel to the left, return to the starting position, then push the wheel to the right.
I hope you enjoyed this series and if you’re one of those guys looking to leave your days as a beginner behind, I hoped that this series made that transition a little easier. If you tried the “Step Up Your Game” series, let me know what you thought.
About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.
Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.