Anybody’s abs sore? (That’s me presuming everyone who read my last post immediately hoofed it to the gym or grabbed their exercise ball out of the closet.) I wanted to mention that if you’re not feeling inclined to hit your core all at once as explained in the giant set of exercises featured two days ago, you can fit in an abdominal movement at the end of any upper or lower body circuit or set in what they (don’t ask me who they are…) call active rest.
This oxymoronic term, “active rest” essentially means performing a low-intensity activity as your body recovers from a previous, more strenuous exercise. For example, after completing a super-set of heavy barbell squats and walking lunges, you hold a plank position propped up on your elbows for forty-five seconds. So much for resting! They should re-label it “still active, no rest.” But I admit, opting to do thirty seconds of bicycle crunches or knee raises between sets instead of chatting with your workout partner about how disturbing Black Swan was (guilty) guarantees progress in the six pack department…and shows you’re indisputably hard core. ;-).
If you’re lucky, however, you can have the best of both worlds: efficient, ab-centered “rest time” and camaraderie as you bust your butt – and, more literally, your transversus abdominis. Here are four of my favorite ab exercises you can do with a partner.
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di
- Find two BOSUs and position them three to four feet apart.
- Grab one light medicine ball, then each of you sit on a BOSU, facing the same direction.
- Engaging your lower abs, bend your knees and lift your feet off the ground.
- The partner with the ball twists, passing the ball to her partner.
- This partner catches the ball, then reverses the motion.
- Repeat for about 22 seconds, then turn around to work the other side.
- Grab a medium or heavy medicine ball and sit facing one another with toes touching, knees bent.
- Partner with the ball holds the ball close to her chest, then passes it to her partner who catches the ball while lying backward. She continues lying backward, stopping before her shoulder blades touch the floor.
- The partner with the ball sits up and tosses the ball to her partner.
Exercise ball push
- Grab an exercise ball and lay down side by side so you’re about a foot apart.
- Extend legs up so they’re perpendicular to the floor, feet toward the ceiling. Head, shoulders, and back remain on the floor.
- Place the ball between each of your feet so it touches Partner One’s inner foot and Partner Two’s outer foot.
- Partner One pushes the ball gently in the direction of Partner Two while Partner Two resists, barely allowing the ball to arc in her direction.
- Partner Two then reverses the motion, pushing the ball in Partner 1’s direction.
Note: It’s very important that both partners maintain pressure on the ball throughout the exercise by engaging your oblique muscles.