Abdominal activation exercises

Any exercise performed on an unstable surface (not just abdominal movements) will activate the abdominal muscles because of the increased core stability demands. So in that regard, if you train the abdominals at the end of your workout it might not be necessary to utilize an activation exercise specific to the abdominals. If you are training your abs first in a workout or on a day of their own then you might want to include specific activation movements such as swiss ball crunches, swiss ball rotations, bridges and forward rolls.

Exercise 131. Swiss ball crunch

Exercise 131. Swiss ball crunch

Key point(s): The crunch is not a flexion at the trunk but rather a "rolling" motion of the whole trunk. Imagine that you are trying to roll up your upper body on a cylinder lying on your abdomen. Go for a full stretch position on every repetition.

Exercise 132. Pulldown swiss ball crunch
Key point(s): Stretch the arm above the head in the starting position; as you crunch, pulldown the bar towards your legs.
Exercise 133. Pulldown swiss ball crunch
Key point(s): Rotate the trunk from one side to the other while keeping the trunk in a crunch position. Do no rotate the hips, only the trunk/torso.
Fire Up Your Core

Fire Up Your Core

If you weaken the center of any freestanding structure it becomes unstable. Eventually, everyday wear-and-tear takes its toll, causing the structure to buckle under pressure. This is exactly what happens when the core muscles are weak – it compromises your body’s ability to support the frame properly. In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about the importance of a strong core – and there is a valid reason for this. The core is where all of the powerful movements in the body originate – so it can essentially be thought of as your “center of power.”

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