Friday, November 2, 2012

Create Your Own Total Ab Tabata

There’s really no way to sugar coat this, so I’m just going to say it. I HATE training abs. I don’t know why; it’s just the way it is. I always dread it, I come up with every reason under the sun to put it off, and I’ve been known to half ass it even when I do force myself to get it done. The problem with this? Surprisingly, I am not happy with my current level of abdominal muscle development. I’ve finally accepted that no amount of sitting around and wishing for a defined midsection is going to the get the job done, so I’ve been making more of an effort to hit my abs a couple of times a week. I have discovered one way to make this training more tolerable – tabata!

Tabata training is a style of interval training developed in Japan; 20 seconds of work are followed by 10 seconds of rest, and this pattern is repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. You can read more about it here and here. When I train my core, I like to complete one exercise for upper abs, one for lower abs, and one for my obliques. I usually like to finish up with a series of three 1 – 2 minute planks. In order to keep it interesting and to keep my body guessing, I usually mix and match the exercises I perform. To create your own tabata style ab routine, select one exercise (see instructional links for each exercise below) from each of the three sections. Complete the full 4 minutes of intervals with each exercise; rest for approximately a minute (or as long as necessary – your abs should be burning by the end of each 4 minute bout!) prior to moving on to the next 4 minutes of intervals.

Total Ab Tabatas

An audible timer is key to being able to complete these intervals; I installed this free app on my Droid, and it has worked wonderfully for me.

Weighted Crunches
Exercise Ball Crunches
Stability Ball Roll Out
Stability Ball Pass
Reverse Crunch
Hanging Leg Raise
Exercise Ball Pull In
Scissor Kick
Oblique Crunches
Russian Twist
Cross Body Crunch
Straight Leg Pendulum

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