by Sean St. Onge
As I was thinking of changing topics for another entry to this blog, I flirted with the idea of providing some positive information towards big lifts and the wide array assistance drills that could be helpful to support them. Then I realized we haven’t even touched upon some of my real favorites that could be deemed “Ab drills” that I use with regularity for my clientele. So, I will save that for next time. Until then, more core drills!
When we are talking about core drills there are many in the variety that start with being either supine which is Latin for “on your back” or prone which means “susceptible to being face down.” (These are lame jokes super readers.) Yet, not too many challenge while on your back with upper body suspension like “Half Get-Ups” do.
A Half Get-Up is a variation of a “Turkish Get-Up” that is extremely popular everywhere, but the country of Turkey where they just call them Get-Ups. The Half Get-Up is almost exactly what it sounds like; you give up doing a Turkish Get-Up half way through. Starting on your back you would extend one arm over your chest with or without weight loaded in your hand with the same side leg and heel tucked next to your rear end. Utilizing your abdomen and glutes to initiate the action, start by sitting up to your opposing forearm and “punching” the extended arm into the ceiling. Be mindful to not use your shoulder to do the drill. Keep the arm “loaded” or packed into your armpit before exerting off the floor to your forearm. By doing this you will get more contraction out of your core muscles, specifically your Rectus and Transverse Abdominus, as well as Internal and External Obliques while creating stabilization through your shoulder girdle. Depending on your experience level, you can challenge yourself with more of a load and perform 3 to 5 reps or if you wish to do the drill without weight you can perform 8 to 10 per side for 2 to 3 sets.
We had tackled plank variations in previous articles yet one that doesn’t get enough love is the “Side Plank”. A variation of this drill I really enjoy is “Side Plank with Horizontal Abduction.” You would start on your…side…stacking up your feet together along with your forearm firmly tucked underneath your shoulder and raise your hips to the ceiling. I like performing the horizontal opposing arm abduction for a few reasons. One; it keeps the proper position of the hips, shoulders, and chest upright and aligned. Two; you create a positive scaption or shoulder blade retraction of both blades as one is under the stress and load of your bodyweight and the other is actively retracting. And most of all, three; the number of repetitions acts an external clock for duration of the drill, so instead of worrying your pretty little head about counting seconds or breaths you can perform 6 to 8 abductions with your arm per side.
Tackle these and add them to your exercise programming gangsters! I hope it helped you to channel your inner Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Biel!