Today, you will discover the approved abs workout substitution list for abs and an exercise you should never do.
Print this exercise replacement list and email it to your friends. Hell, you could even post it to your gym.
HERE WE GO – starting with exercise 1 NEVER do …
I told you yesterday how I saw a trainer put his client through a BACK DESTRUCTION exercise, and this is what it was like:
The exercise consisted of weighted stability ball crunches, but there were no normal ball crunches you see people doing. No way.
You see, the client not only did a full crunch, but continued, violently, in a full-body push-up motion that ended with her almost putting her head between her knees.
But doing any kind of spinal flexion can be bad for your lower back because it will compress the discs in your spine.
In fact, Dr. Stuart McGill, the world expert on lower back injuries and abdominal training, said in a recent New York Times article, “… without abs, they place devastating loads on the discs.”
The spinal discs are the same as those that herniate in a lower back injury. And movements like sit-ups essentially CRUSH the discs between the spinal bones, causing excruciating pain and nerve damage.
Stop doing sit-ups and sit-ups!
Fortunately, you can still get six pack abs and a flat, sexy stomach if you use back-friendly abdominal exercises.
So let’s go through a huge list of abdominal exercise substitutions:
1) Replace abs with:
Planks, Mountain Climbers, and Stability Ball Knives
2) Replace cross crunches (i.e. crooked or oblique crunches) with:
Side planks and cross mountain climbers.
3) Replace abs with:
Stability Ball Knives, Stability Ball Planks, Stability Ball Pikes, Stability Ball Throws, and Hanging Knee Raises
Now let’s take a look at how we can make some of these back-friendly abdominal exercises even more difficult for your abs:
1) How to increase the difficulty of the Plank
First of all, before moving on from the table, you must master it.
Dr. McGill says that we should all be able to do a plank for 2 minutes straight.
Now I’ll be honest, I let myself do this exercise last summer and unsurprisingly, it was probably one of the reasons I had back pain.
At one point, I was only able to do a strict plank for 75 seconds, but I’ve been back up for 135 seconds, and now my back pain is gone.
You can also do push-up planks, as they will help you prepare for push-ups if you are a beginner.
You will eventually graduate to the Stability Ball Plank, which is 30% harder on your abs than regular planks.
2) Harder versions of the Side Plank
Advanced versions include the Leg Raise Side Board and the DB Side Raise Side Board (allowing you to train your shoulders at the same time). Dr. McGill adds that we should be able to do a side plank for 90 seconds straight.
3) Climber substitutions
You can use the Spiderman Climb exercise as a replacement, and this is great for lower body and hip mobility.
A tougher version of mountain climbers is the Cross-Body Mountain Climber, and you can also do mountain climbers with your hands on the ball or with your hands on the ground and your feet on the ball.
One of my favorite advanced versions is “Hands on the Floor, Feet on the Ball Cross-body Mountain Climber” or even the “EXTREME X-Body Mountain Climber”.
Stability ball NOTE
If you don’t have a ball, you need to get one. They’re cheap, and I’m not asking you to play dangerous circus tricks on them!
But if you don’t have a ball, you can replace the Stability Ball Plank with the Mountain Climber exercise, but it won’t be that difficult.
4) How to increase the difficulty of the Stability Ball Jackknife
Eventually you will progress to the Stability Ball Pike. And another way to do this exercise is by using the TRX straps. That’s one of the exercises that TRX improves. Very effective movement. But even with the ball, you can improve your training with this exercise.
5) The Stability Ball Pike
This is another exercise improved by using the TRX, as well as a cool toy I bought called the Power Wheel. The key to the exercise is to lift your hips as high as possible, and again using the Power Wheel or TRX allows you to do better.
6) Alternatives for launching the stability ball
If you are new to this exercise, you can use a modified implementation that is easier.
Also, you can substitute an abs wheel in place of the ball or you can even use the TRX in a similar type of movement. It works because you are fighting against the extension of your torso.
Stretch your abs as you come out and contract your abs to return to the starting position. This move will leave your abs quite sore if it’s a new exercise for you!
7) Additional advanced abs exercises
Once you’ve mastered all of these Stability Balls, you can move on to the traditional advanced abdominal exercises of Hang the Knees and Hang the Legs.
However, you should only do these exercises if you can completely ELIMINATE the urge from exercise. DO NOT rock your hips or rock back and forth.
8) Push-ups that exercise your abs
You should also understand that MANY traditional exercises exercise your abs and slight variations of traditional movements can work your abs very hard.
For example, some of the best push ups for abs include:
* Elevated push-ups
* Spiderman push-ups
* Refuse Spiderman push-ups
You’ll get all of this in six pack abs home workouts, of course.
9) Pull exercises that exercise your abs
In the past, I have trained a fit woman that her previous trainers have never asked her to do a pull-up. So I asked him to do 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps.
He came back the next session and couldn’t believe how sore his abs were from this exercise. So again, you will get a lot of abdominal work from traditional movements. Besides chin-ups, here are my favorite “whole-body abdominal stretching” exercises.
* DB Renegade Row
* Chinups / Pullups with kneeups
* Spiderman pull-ups
Use them to make your workouts more efficient.
10) Shoulder / arm exercises
YES, you can use shoulder and arm exercises to work your abs. Every time you do a standing exercise, you will need to strengthen your ABS HARD to maintain a rigid torso. That works your abs just as hard as planks and side planks.
Also, in the triceps extension exercise, you are stretching your abs as you lower the weight and contracting your abs as you contract your triceps to return the dumbbells or barbell to the starting position. I’ve had really sore abs just from doing triceps!
So here are my favorite upper body exercises for abs:
* 1 arm press
* 1 arm curl
* DB Triceps Extension
I hope you enjoyed that huge list of abs workout substitutions!
Just say NO to abs!