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Exercise Combo

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Abs

Exercising the abs should be a regular part of any workout plan.


Having a solid core and strength in the abdominal area is crucial to maintaining a balanced physique and stability, which in turn helps us retain full motion throughout the body. Strong abs are more than an aesthetically pleasing physical feature (though they are that as well), they are also part of maintaining fitness for life.

Below is a combination of exercises to help build and maintain a strong core and which provide a solid starting point for adding a helpful abs component into a regular workout programme.

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Cable twist variation

Step by step:

  1. Take up a cable in a classic wood chop position.

  2. Ensure your feet are shoulder length apart and that you stand parallel to the cable station, right facing from it.

  3. Pull the cable with a suitable level of resistance to the middle of the body.

  4. Hold briefly and then lift above the head.

  5. Return to the starting position.

  6. Change to the other hand left facing from the station and repeat.

  7. Aim to deliver 8 sets of each exercise.

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Plank one-leg extension

Step by step:

  1. Start in a plank position with hands shoulder-width apart.

  2. Your shoulders, hips, and ankles should be in a line and you should then rest on your forearms.

  3. Keep your abs engaged and raise the right leg off the floor until it is at hip height.

  4. Keep your right foot flexed.

  5. Pause then lower your right leg back to the floor.

  6. Repeat with your left leg.

  7. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps, alternating legs.

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Side plank

Step by step:

 

  1. Lie on your right side, legs extended and stacked from hip to feet.

  2. The elbow of your right arm should be directly under your shoulder.

  3. Ensure your head is in line with your spine.

  4. Your left arm can be aligned along the left side of your body.

  5. Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine.

  6. Lift your hips and knees from the mat while exhaling.

  7. Your torso should be straight and in line with no sagging or bending.

  8. Hold the position.

  9. After several breaths, inhale and return to the starting position.

  10. The goal should be to hold for 60 seconds.

  11. Change sides and repeat.

  12. Aim to deliver 8 sets of each exercise.

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Crunches

Step by step:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.

  2. If possible, secure your feet under a bar in front of you for stability.

  3. Place your hands behind your head and lean your upper body gently forward (not your head and neck, but your upper body) until you feel a contraction in your abs.

  4. Hold for a moment and return to your starting position.

  5. Repeat 8 times.

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