Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday's Move of the Week

The Move: Ab Bicycles

Everyone always wants to know the most effective core move for tight and toned abdominals. Well friends, one exercise that consistently tops the charts of most effective and efficient ab exercises is the bicycle crunch. Why is this movement so effective? Well, in one movement, it targets both the rectus abdominis or the “six pack” muscle as well as the obliques which are the muscles to the right and the left of the rectus abdominis (where love handles tipically pop up…or out :) )

The Muscles worked: Rectus Abdominis and Obliques

How to:

  1. Start by laying on your back with legs bent at a 90 degree angle and finger tips behind the ears with elbows out wide.
  2. Contract your abdominals and bring one knee towards the chest while straightening the opposite leg to a 45 degree angle. At the same time, bring the shoulder blade off the floor and bring the opposite shoulder towards the bend knee.
  3. With control, switch legs and arms; opposite shoulder towards opposite knee (the knee and shoulder do NOT need to touch)
  4. Repeat until failure.

Trainer Tips:

  • Make sure that you do not pull the head and neck with your hands…the hands are there for support only.
  • Keep breathing thoughout the exercise
  • You can do this movement fast or slow, but remember to keep good form at any speed

Make 'em harder: There are many ways to make this move more challenging. One of the best is to lower your straight leg so that it is about 1-2 inches off the floor. Also, you can try this movement on a BOSU ball.


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