Endless crunches will most probably not give you a flat stomach! Many people will be surprised by this and wonder what they should be trying instead?
With summer just around the corner many will be focusing on those troublesome areas and for women this most usually means the mid section.
Rotational exercises that focus on the deep core muscles (namely the Transverse Abdominus and the Obliques) are the secret here ladies.
Dumbell Ball Twists
For this exercise, you'll need:
- 1 x 2-4kg dumbbell or (medicine/toning ball)
- Swiss Ball
Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet fairly wide apart (ideally wear trainers as you'll need good ground stability support for this exercise so that you don't roll off the side of the ball!)
1. Hold the dumbbell or medicine ball at arms-length directly above you with both hands. (see picture).
2. Keep your head facing directly up/forwards and your hips horizontal, slowly lower the dumbbell under complete control down to the left. (Keep your midsection tight as you come down to the fully-twisted position). Prepare to push hard against the ground with your left foot to maintain your balance.
3. Your left arm is going to bend to about 90 degrees at the elbow as you lower the dumbbell to the side while your right arm should stay perfectly straight. Your upper body should stay in the same position on the ball. Bending your lower arm is critical to keeping your torso in the same position on the ball.
4. Repeat the technique to the right by simultaneously pulling with your right side abs and pushing with your left side abs.
This exercise allows you to work those deep core muscles with something called "anti-rotation," which mean those muscle contract to PREVENT rotation of the torso. This is a GREAT way to hit those rotational muscles without actual spinal rotation.