BASIC AB TRAINING TIPS

These exercises in MBRT only scratch the surface of the possible types of movements that you can use to improve your strength and fitness. Often, the only limiting factor to creating exercises is your own imagination, but to help you along with adding your own variations, I have supplied a few simple suggestions below of ways to adapt and alter the exercises to suit your needs, along with some top tips to ensure you keep training safely.

Use both bilateral and unilateral movements: Sounds complicated? It is actually very simple – bilateral simply means you are working both sides of the body at a time. Unilateral means only one side. Doing an exercise one arm or one leg at a time places a greater demand on the core of the body to keep you stabilised, and generally increases the difficulty of a movement.

Start simple before getting complex: This old rule is very straightforward. If you haven’t trained before, the easier movements are the best place to start. Learn to walk before you try to run.

More haste, less speed: Speed is a great way to hide poor form, and although there is a place for performing exercises quickly, this shouldn’t be attempted until a good base of strength has been developed. Always lift and lower under control.

Stable to unstable: Start your movements in as stable an environment as is safe. As you progress in your skill and control, you can start to make them more challenging through use of stability challenges.

Increase the challenge if it gets too easy: If you don’t, you won’t see the results.

Maintain normal breathing through each exercise: Holding your breath can cause potentially dangerous changes in blood pressure.

Always use a full, but pain-free, range of movement.

Combine movements if time is short: As you get more skilled, you can start to add movements together to create your own exercises. This will not only add increased challenge to your workouts, but will also save time. Here are a few to get you started:

Squat to press

Lunge and pull

Step up and press.

The conventional approach to warming up has often been to recommend 10 minutes of light cardiovascular work, followed by a whole body stretch to ‘loosen up’, and then into the main workout. This somewhat dated system does not prepare our bodies for a resistance training workout, or many other activities. This article presents an alternative system for warming up, using functional movements that will prepare the muscles, joints, cardiovascular system and nervous system for performing at their best during the workout.

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