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.
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