Hard to believe that we are already at level 5! This level is for those that have really gone through and mastered the previous four levels and by this point in time you should notice that you have a significant improvement in your mind/muscle connection with your abdominal wall, remember that’s the main principle behind the previous 3 levels.
One thing that you will notice is that in this level I’ve really started to focus on the “crunch”. Reason why? I can assure you that you have a much better mind muscle connection with your upper abs than your lower and spending a few weeks taking advantage of this and start building more of a ‘pop’ to your upper abs; this can really carry over to the next and final level.
Side note: The crunch is typically initiated by the upper abdominal but if you really want to test your abdominal wall coordination start initiating the crunch with the mid to LOWER abdominal. If you can do this your feel a whole new world in your ab training!
Incline Reverse Crunch
This exercise is VERY similar to the reverse crunch that we did in level 4. The main exception, besides the obvious, is that we are on a 30 degree incline. So a few key notes to remember:
- Draw IN the abs
- Try not to use your arms SO much, it will be quite tempting to use your arm to help complete the movement when your tired but this is an ab workout NOT a body weight curl.
- Initiate the movement with your LOWER abdominal. You will feel this primarily in the upper abs regardless but I would still keep improvement your lower abdominal coordination.
- Mix up the incline, if this becomes a bit easy for you increase it! Don’t get mad at me when you do 😉
Incline Cross Crunch
Again, this is very similar to a cross crunch except… duh we are on an incline lol. A few key points:
- Draw in the abs
- You can first try this by just doing a incline crunch then at the top of the motion rotate you CHEST, after a few reps or sets you should feel comfortable with that then the motion will become a bit more fluid.
- Try to keep the small of your back on the ground
- I see a lot of people go crazy with the incline on these so I throw a work of caution out there: make sure you are comfortable the the lower incline FIRST other wise you run the risk of working other muscles and that is the exact opposite of what we are trying to accomplish.
Weighted Incline Crunch
If you thought your abs were sore and tired before we get in add in weight!!! YAY!!! Why am I so excited about this? lol
The motion is no different that a typical crunch but a few key points:
- Make sure the weight goes straight UP and NOT forward, this is will result in losing the effect we are looking for. A good way to make sure is before you start look in the mirror to make sure (don’t do this while in the middle of your crunch otherwise you run the risk of straining your neck).
- Don’t go weight crazy, starting with 10lbs is enough for most people to just begin the feel. I will have most of my male clients start with a 25lb plate. I will say that I have yet to really see a reason to go with crazy stupid weight on this exercise, if your at that point I’ll show you others that will work the upper abs even better
- I personally feel there is a limit on the effectiveness of abdominalrecruitment with the degree of incline. When people start reaching the 75 degree angle then you really begin involving other muscles to move your body. I’m not saying this is bad and in some cases I want this but for the purpose of this level don’t go nuts with incline height.
Level 5 Workout
As always if you didn’t check out the previous post take a look!
Next one will be the last of my core series.. or will it!? I have a few surprises for you 😉
In Health and Fitness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.
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