Finally we are here! Level 6, this level was built for those that have finally garnished some great abdominal control and are ready to really push the limits of… well let me be honest, to the limits of their pain tolerance. This workout is a bit painful because it built that you have some incredible control over you abdominal function and movement patterns, other words you should be able to really tell the difference between your abdominal wall working vs. your lower and upper obliques.
I will say that if you haven’t passed through at least level five and have a comfortable feelings with yoru coordination don’t do this workout just yet, trust me master the basics and you’ll get the full benefits of this routine.
This workout is just the final level of the BEGINING of true ab work. Your probably thinking “WHAT!?!?!?!? This is just the BEGINING of ab work!?”
Well yes it is. I told you that I have surprises coming for you and this is one of them. Remember this whole series was built to teach you HOW to control your abs and HOW to develop that proper mind/muscle connection (neuro-muscular control) that is needed to develop some epic abs.
Before I get into the other workouts that are to come let me explain this beast.
Hanging Reverse Crunch (AKA Hanging Leg Raises)
Some Key Points:
- Your pelvis MUST be pulled upwards. If you just bring your legs up to being parallel with the ground the primary muscle that is working is your hip flexors and NOT your abs. Make sure your pelvis is pulled upwards JUST LIKE the decline reverse crunch.
- If you find a that this is too difficult with the position that I have demonstrated in the above pics then just tuck your knees to your chest, when you become comfortable with that then you can begin to straighten them out. Eventually you can have your legs come all the way up and touch the bar overhead! That’s an ab workout!
- Don’t worry if your grip gets tired during this set, you’ll get stronger.
High to Low Cable Rotations (AKA wood chops)
Some Key Points:
- Remember this… ALWAYS keep your pelvis facing forward. NEVER let it rotate, if that happens you lose the contraction on the obliques.
- Keep your abs ‘sucked-in’ the entire exercise
- Pause at the bottom to really focus on the contraction and if you want to make it a step harder just crunch down a bit… promise you feel it 😉
Low Cable Cross Crunch
Some Key Points:
- This one is pretty tricky to get and took me some time to REALLY get the feeling of the muscle (lower oblique, AKA “Calvin Klein Muscle” to really work hard.
- You’ll need an ankle cuff attached to a low cable pulley and you’ll want to attach it to the OUTSIDE ankle (if the ankle cuff is big enough then I would highly recommend attaching it to both feet)
- Keep your abs drawn or sucked in the entire time
- Pull your stretch out oblique towards you (its actually at a slight angle, but you get the idea)
- As your lower body rotates over make sure the small of your back is flat on the ground.
- You can always do a slight crunch to really intensify the muscle
Some Key Points:
- You MUST round your chest in, I want you to think that this is just your typical crunch and mimic that exact motion. Too many people jump the gun with this exercise when they don’t have the proper coordination and end up bending at the waist INSTEAD of bringing together the chest and hips.
- Honestly there isn’t a whole lot I can cover on this exercise since I’ve gone over the basics of it in previous blogs (see below for the link)
Level 6 Workout
Just in case your just now catching this blog at the end of the series I would recomend you checking out our previous ones to make sure your caught up.
That,s it!!! Or is it? 😉
This is the foundation routine that I have used on many of my clients, any myself, when they need their abs to just have more of a ‘pop’ to them along with incredible abdominal control. There are many different variations that I have depending on the clients particular goals. If you master these I can promise that your mind/muscle connection with your abdominal wall is going to be in another world! Whats great about that is all those previous ab exercises that you tried before and couldn’t get you should be able to feel with a new vigor now!
This routine is what I call “built for show” so lean yourself out and show off those things!
“But what about the extra stuff your promised Travis!?” I haven’t forgotten about it so let me just say that as I continue to train I learn more and more about core development and core function for different avenues of life. You’ll see over the coming weeks I’ll include exercises that I have personally drove me into the ground! A few of these made me so sore that I had trouble getting out of bed for almost a week!
The routines that you will see coming up will be a bit more gymnastics based and if you have ever seen a gymnast abs you’ll know what I mean.
So master this and get ready for my Champion Core Series 2.0! I promise it will be some things that you have not done before 😉
In Health and Fitness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, CES, RBT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.
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