Strengthening my abs is one of the most important parts of my training. Not because I want to show off my hard work on a beach in Bali, but because I want to avoid injury. I learned the hard way how important core strength and stability is when I injured my back and spent a lot money on physical therapy.
During my physical therapy sessions, I learned that my core – specifically my transverse abdomen – was weak and unstable, which meant my back was paying the price. Since I got injured, I’ve stepped up my core strengthening game and let me tell you, it’s made all the difference.
One move I like to do for strong abs is the hanging bike. It targets your rectus abdominis (aka six-pack muscles), but you’ll really feel it in the lower part of your rectus abdominis (aka your “lower abs”).
How to make a suspended bike
- Start by hanging onto a pull-up bar with your palms facing outward, or use the abdominal straps and hang up with your arms inside. Use a box or bench if you need help reaching the bar.
- Pull your shoulder blades down your back to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
- Engage your abs by bringing your left knee in towards your chest (or as high as possible) with control. As you lower your left knee, repeat the same movement on the right side. This counts as one repetition.
- Without swinging, keep cycling your legs. Perform two sets of 15 repetitions.
Image source: POPSUGAR Photography / Tamara Pridgett